2007 Virginia Teacher of the Year
Susan W. Evans
Susan W. Evans is a mathematics teacher at Rural Retreat High School in Wythe County. Before moving to Wythe County seven years ago, Ms. Evans served as a mathematics instructor and team leader at the Roanoke Valley Governor's School for Science and Technology. In an effort to increase mathematics scores on the Standards of Learning (SOL) tests, Ms. Evans began an after-school remediation program and an annual mathematics night in 2000. This year, she added a dual credit pre-calculus course that enrolled 47 students in her small high school. Ms. Evans has received certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in young adult mathematics.
Regional Teachers of the Year
James E. "Jim" Triesler
James E. Triesler, a history and government teacher at Clover Hill High School in Chesterfield County, has 14 years experience as an educator and holds dual endorsements in English and history/social science. He also has coached softball, forensics, and debate and served as yearbook sponsor. Students often say they "hate history" but Mr. Triesler has found avenues for students to connect to history in a personal way. He brings in antiques, written documents, and artifacts to augment lessons and encourages students to engage in history by using the tools of historians such as census records, genealogical documents, and museum and special library collections.
Elizabeth T. Harris
Elizabeth T. Harris, a 28-year veteran educator, teaches Advanced Placement American History at Great Bridge High School in Chesapeake. In addition to history, her teaching experiences and endorsements cover a range of disciplines — elementary education, French, religious studies, keyboarding, humanities, and technology. Ms. Harris has taught English as a Second Language in Belgium and China, served as a master teacher with a National Endowment for the Humanities summer institute in Senegal, and was the first Hampton Roads-area teacher to earn the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification in adolescent/young adult social studies/history.
Lori M. Chaney
Lori M. Chaney serves as the technology resource teacher at Winding Creek Elementary School in Stafford County. As the spouse of a military officer, she had the opportunity to teach in schools all over the world — Guam, Japan, California, Indiana, and North Carolina — before moving to Virginia in 2002. Ms. Chaney has been a member of Stafford County's technology advisory committee and helped re-write the division's six-year technology plan after conducting initial research on the division's technology program. In addition, she organized a program for her colleagues that allowed them to participate in a night-vision goggle exercise at Quantico Marine Base.
William W. "Bill" Willis, Jr.
William W. "Bill" Willis Jr. is a physics teacher at Gar-Field High School in Prince William County. A Vietnam veteran, he became a teacher after retiring from the U.S. Army. Mr. Willis has taught mathematics and physics at the middle school, high school, and college levels. He has won numerous honors including the 2006 Washington Post Agnes Meyer Teacher of the Year Award and, in 2002, was one of three state high school finalists for the National Science Foundation's Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, the nation's highest honor for teachers in the field.
Janice H. "Jan" Suddith
Janice H. Suddith is a veteran teacher at Paul Laurence Dunbar Middle School for Innovation in Lynchburg. She has chaired the social studies department since 1987 and currently teaches eighth-grade civics and economics. Ms. Suddith is the school's lead mentor. In this position, she organizes all the school's mentoring partnerships and supervises numerous student interns and beginners. She believes it is critical to assist students in broadening their awareness of the community. Ms. Suddith regularly brings police officers and business leaders into her classroom and encourages her students to perform service projects within the community.
Marsha L. Lopez
Marsha L. Lopez, a business education teacher at Franklin County High School. After working in the business world for several years, Ms. Lopez found that she wanted to do more fulfilling work and began taking education classes. Every semester, she asks her students to complete a "Getting to Know You" questionnaire so she can learn about their interests. She also has frequent one-on-one conferences with them. By using these strategies, she can discover what motivates each person and help each individual find success in her class. Ms. Lopez is the co-advisor of the Future Business Leaders of America, chair of the Franklin County High School Business Department, and coach of the cheerleading squad.
Margaret W. "Meg" Lumpkin
Margaret W. "Meg" Lumpkin, a pre-kindergarten teacher with 15 years experience, currently teaches a full-day, four-year-old class as part of the Virginia Preschool Initiative at Greensville Elementary School. She began her career as a Head Start teacher and then moved to a Chapter I half-day kindergarten program. Ms. Lumpkin is serving on a team developing a student pacing guide and is a member of the divisionwide team that is developing inclusive placement opportunities for pre-schoolers. Through a number of mini-grants from the Greensville County Education Foundation and the Parent Teacher Organization she created and maintains a classroom library with multi-cultural literature for students.