2006 Virginia Teacher of the Year
Debi Goforth is a library media specialist at Courtland Elementary School in Spotsylvania County (Region 3). The former elementary school teacher in Tennessee and North Carolina strives to ensure that each student leaves her library excited about books whether a struggling reader or an advanced reader. Mrs. Goforth has been actively involved in staff development and the education of future teachers for many years having served as a supervisor and mentor teacher for college practicum students.
Regional Teachers of the Year
Donald M. Felice
Don Felice is a sixth-grade social studies teacher at Manchester Middle School in Chesterfield County. After pursuing a career at a Fortune 500 company and becoming disillusioned, he recalled the pleasure he had experienced while student teaching. Twenty-seven years later Mr. Felice believes in bringing history alive for his students through period costumes, role-playing, interactive learning activities, and hands-on projects that link history to current events.
Mary E. "Betsy" McAllister
Betsy McAllister teaches science to fifth graders at the Mary Peake Center for gifted students in Hampton. During her thirteen years of elementary and middle school instruction, she has been active in curriculum and staff development based on her belief that "four walls should not define a classroom." In an effort to connect students to the environment, Ms. McAllister has created schoolyard habitats, conducted environmental clean-ups, and introduced urban, at-risk students to a river ecosystem.
Stephen R. Scholla
Steve Scholla is a physics teacher at Oakton High School in Fairfax County. After careers with an engineering consulting firm and an archival framing business, he realized his love of teaching. For more than a decade, Mr. Scholla has taught introductory, basic, honors, and advanced placement physics. The Rocketry Club, which he sponsors, was one of eight schools in the nation to receive a NASA contract this past year to participate in the NASA Student Launch Initiative.
Carla J. Hunt
Carla Hunt is a math teacher at Albemarle High School. Throughout her career, which has spanned the nation and commonwealth, she has developed and shared instructional strategies for block scheduling. A book produced in 1999 includes Mrs. Hunt's insights and designs on math instruction using the block schedule. In addition to teaching algebra, geometry and advanced placement calculus, she was a leader in the Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction Institute (CAI).
Thomas F. Fitzpatrick
Tom Fitzpatrick is an eighth-grade science teacher at Breckinridge Middle School in Roanoke. During his 18-year career, he has taught life science, physical science, and earth science. In addition to serving as a teacher and curriculum developer for the Governor's School and Addison Aerospace Magnet School, Mr. Fitzpatrick founded Men of Vision Exploring and Representing in Science (MOVERS), which has a 95 percent promotion rate -- higher than any other ethnic or gender sub-group the school.
Linda Fowler Davis
Linda Davis is a fifth-grade mathematics teacher at St. Paul School in Carroll County. She has taught math and science in elementary schools in both North Carolina and Virginia. By providing differentiated instruction, 100 percent of the students passed the mathematics test between 1998 and 2002 at Mrs. Davis' previous school. Since coming to St. Paul School, achievement has risen from 47 percent passing in 2002 to 90 percent passing in 2004 ... including five students scoring a perfect 600.
Deborah T. Ketchum
Deborah Ketchum is an English and theater teacher at Randolph-Henry High School in Charlotte County. In addition to her 13 years in Charlotte County, she also taught in Danville and Montgomery County. While teaching dual enrollment English, theater, and acting, Mrs. Ketchum directed two full-length plays, five one-act plays, was active in numerous forensics competitions, conducted three children's theater camps, and created a community theater program.