MONTGOMERY COUNTY – During the Tuesday, Feb. 6 Montgomery County Public School Board meeting, MCPS Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction Dr. Barbara Wickham presented awards to the Montgomery County Public School’s Teachers of the Year, Candace Carrier, and nominees from each school in the district.
“The program is open to all teachers from Pre-K through grade 12 including school librarians, school counselors and reading specialists. Candidates must be dedicated, knowledgeable, and skilled, and plan to continue in an active teaching status,” Wickham said. “The program provides school divisions the opportunity to recognize outstanding teachers, and to focus positive public attention on education and the teaching profession.”
Mr. Patrick Moran, of Horace Mann, accompanied Wickham during the presentation. Moran provides the glass apples that are presented to each winning teacher of the special award.
The school level winners for Teacher of the Year are:
Pre-K Teacher Kara Thurman, Auburn Elementary School
4th Grade Teacher Haley Conner, Belview Elementary
4th Grade Teacher Melissa Howes, Christiansburg Elementary
Reading Specialist Peggy Kincaid, Christiansburg Primary
3rd Grade Teacher Sherri Kinley, Falling Branch Elementary
Kindergarten Teacher Carly Hansen, Gilbert Linkous Elementary
Librarian Lisa Gay-Milliken, Harding Avenue Elementary
4th Grade Teacher Allison Dinkle, Kipps Elementary
2nd Grade Teacher Megan Ridgley, Margaret Beeks Elementary
3rd Grade Teacher Lori Mefford, Price’s Fork Elementary
Health/P.E. Teacher Kelley Sutphin, Eastmont Elementary
Reading Specialist Stacy Hollandsworth, Auburn Middle
History Teacher Jessica Ratcliffe, Blacksburg Middle
History Teacher Joseph Caldwell, Christiansburg Middle School
6th Grade English Teacher Harley McCain, Shawsville Middle
Special Education Teacher Becky Gosney, Auburn High School
Science Teacher Emilyne Danielson, Christiansburg High School
Reading Specialist Kearah Donato, Eastmont High School
English Teacher Angie Whitt, Montgomery Central
“Division superintendents are invited to nominate one teacher for state level recognition. These nominees will then be considered for regional teacher of the year awards and the Virginia Teacher of the Year will be selected from among those eight regional teachers of the year. Our division teacher of the year has submitted a portfolio to the Virginia Department of Education for consideration,” Wickham said.
A video Carrier was presented to the audience.
Carrier is the instructor of courses in Small Engine Repair and the Dual-enrolled Welding program that includes three different welding courses available to MCPS students through New River Community College. Carrier reflected on her goals as a teacher in the video.
“I tell [the students] all the time ‘progress not perfection’,” Carrier said. “The goal is to get better and better every day.”
Students that spoke in support of Carrier during the video expressed how she has helped them to not only see different ways of doing things but also to grow as an individual.
“I feel like if you can build a relationship with a kid, you can teach them anything,” Carrier said.
As a woman in the agriculture teaching field, colleagues, and students both expressed her inspiration to other women considering this area of work.
Other awards during the school board meeting recognized Seniors of the Month for
February 2024 in their dedication to hard work and contributions to their high schools through involvement in academics, clubs, arts, and athletics as well as support to fellow students.
Principal Mr. David Hurd from Auburn High School presented Madison Litton with the February Senior of the Month award.
Mrs. Guylene Wood-Setzer, Acting Principal for Blacksburg High School, acknowledged Lucas Carl Mertes as the February Senior of the Month.
Rylie Grace Horning of Christiansburg High School was named February Senior of the Month by Principal Shane Guynn.
Senior of the Month for February also, Ashton Lafon of Eastern Montgomery High School was presented with her award by Principal Todd Lewis.