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For Immediate Release
September 14, 2005
Contact: Charles Pyle
Director of Communications
(804) 371-2420
Julie Grimes
Public Information Officer
(804) 225-2775

Virginia Regional Teachers of the Year Named
During Surprise Classroom Visits
All Eight in the Running for State Top Teacher Honor

Eight educators learned of their selection this week as the Virginia 2006 Regional Teachers of the Year during surprise classroom visits made by members of the Board of Education and Department of Education representatives. Announcements were made in six classrooms yesterday, Sept. 13, and in two today.

“These educators embody what is best in Virginia’s public school teachers,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Jo Lynne DeMary. “They represent thousands of colleagues whose creativity and hard work have brought about significant increases in student achievement and made Virginia’s public schools among the highest performing in the nation.”

The regional teachers of the year announced are:

  • Donald M. Felice, a sixth-grade social studies teacher at Manchester Middle School in Chesterfield County (Region One).
  • Mary E. “Betsy” McAllister, a fifth-grade science teacher at the Mary Peake Center in Hampton (Region Two).
  • Deborah S. Goforth, a librarian at Courtland Elementary School in Spotsylvania County (Region Three).
  • Stephen R. Scholla, a physics teacher at Oakton High School in Fairfax County (Region Four).
  • Carla J. Hunt, a mathematics teacher at Albemarle High School in Charlottesville (Region Five).
  • Thomas F. Fitzpatrick, a science teacher at Breckinridge Middle School in Roanoke (Region Six).
  • Linda Fowler Davis, a mathematics teacher at St. Paul School in Carroll County (Region Seven).
  • Deborah T. Ketchum, an English and theater teacher at Randolph Henry High School in Charlotte County (Region 8).

The eight teachers were selected from among candidates chosen by their school divisions. The candidates prepared and submitted portfolios highlighting their professional accomplishments, educational philosophies, and community activities. A panel of representatives of professional and educational associations, the business community, and 2005 Virginia Teacher of the Year Joseph Hills of Fairfax County reviewed the portfolios. A record 62 school divisions nominated teachers this year.

The panel will interview each of the eight Regional Teachers of the Year on October 21 to select the 2006 Virginia Teacher of the Year. The decision will be announced that evening during a celebration in Richmond.

The 2006 Virginia Teacher of the Year will be the commonwealth’s nominee in the National Teacher of the Year program, which is sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers, Scholastic Inc, and ING Foundation. Two previous Virginia teachers have gone on to become National Teacher of the Year: B. Philip Bigler, the 1998 Virginia Teacher of the Year, and Mary Bicouvaris, the 1989 Virginia Teacher of the Year.