For Immediate Release – October 15, 2012
Office of the Governor
Contact: Jeff Caldwell
Phone: (804) 225-4260
Virginia Department of Education
Contact: Charles B. Pyle
Phone: (804) 371-2420
Chesapeake Educator is 2013 Virginia Teacher of the Year
RICHMOND – Kathryn B. Galford, a sixth-grade English teacher at Greenbrier Middle School in Chesapeake, was named the 2013 Virginia Teacher of the Year Friday evening in Richmond. Galford was selected from the eight Virginia 2013 Regional Teachers of the Year announced in September. She will be the Commonwealth's nominee in the Council of Chief State School Officers' National Teacher of the Year program.
"In a state blessed with so many dedicated professionals in the classroom, Kathryn Galford's recognition as 2013 Virginia Teacher of the Year is a testament to her ability and her results in inspiring our young people," said Governor Bob McDonnell. "All Virginia students will be helped in their future studies and their careers by an ability to write and communicate clearly, and I look forward to Kathryn using this platform to share her talents around Virginia and around the nation."
"Words cannot express what an unbelievable honor it is to have been chosen to represent so many outstanding teachers in Virginia," Galford said. "Over the course of my teaching career, I have been touched by so many amazing students, teachers, administrators, parents and community members. They have made me the teacher I am today, and I dedicate this incredible award to them. It is my hope that I can use this experience as an opportunity to make a difference for the children in Virginia and to shine a spotlight on the most rewarding, promising and significant career in the world – teaching."
"Teachers play an invaluable role in the development and learning of our students and the 2013 Teacher of the Year is dedicated to ensuring that each of her students is challenged, encouraged and motivated to learn," said Secretary of Education Laura Fornash. "Kathryn Galford is a shining example to her peers and her community, but most importantly to her students. She epitomizes the type of teacher the Governor wants guiding all young people across the Commonwealth. It is my hope that Kathryn will share her ideas, insights and practices with her fellow colleagues in order expand her impact on our students. I congratulate her on a well-earned award."
Galford strives to infuse her "make it relevant" philosophy to her students through an environment that allows them to discover the connection between what they learn in the classroom and how it relates to the world. She earned her bachelor's degree in middle school education and master's degree in curriculum and instruction from Old Dominion University. Galford is currently pursuing a teaching endorsement in gifted education through the University of Virginia.
Galford's influence goes beyond her classroom. She co-wrote the division's current sixth-grade English curriculum for gifted students; had one of her differentiated lessons videotaped and distributed for Chesapeake Public Schools' training; and has had her lesson plans and instructional strategies published in two books.
"Kathryn Galford represents the best of the best in our classrooms," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright. "Her passion and ability to blend real-world experiences with the study of English result in middle school students who are well on their way to mastering Virginia's college-ready expectations in reading, research and communications."
As the 2013 Virginia Teacher of the Year, Galford received a $5,000 award and a ring from the Apple Federal Credit Union Education Foundation, a $2,500 award from Richmond law firm Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen; a classroom technology package from Smart Technologies ULC; educational opportunities from several public and private colleges and universities; flowers from Strange's Florist and Garden Centers; an engraved crystal apple; and a resolution from the Virginia Board of Education.
The other seven regional teachers of the year received $500 awards from the program sponsors; a technology gift from Smart Technologies ULC; offers of educational benefits from several public and private colleges and universities; and a resolution from the Virginia Board of Education.
Galford was selected after being interviewed by a committee that included representatives of professional and educational associations, the business community and 2012 Virginia Teacher of the Year Meg Smith of Lynchburg Public Schools.
The 2013 National Teacher of the Year will be announced next spring at a White House ceremony. Two previous Virginia teachers of the year – Mary V. Bicouvaris in 1989 and B. Philip Bigler in 1998 - have gone on to become National Teachers of the Year.
More about the 2013 Virginia Teacher of the Year Program