Director of Public Information and Community Involvement
In The News
Congratulations to the 2012-2013 teachers of the year
(May 2, 2012) - Newport News Public Schools honored its teachers of the year at a banquet May 2.
Elementary School Teacher of the Year
Tereska says she tries to tailor her teaching technique for individual learners. She organizes her classroom around a different theme each year to help students become and remain excited about school. She sees parents as her partners in the classroom. And, while she acknowledges it might not be received warmly by others, she believes the school year should be lengthened, to help students learn more and retain what they’ve learned.
Tereska, who has represented Yates twice before as teacher of the year, has served on the PTA boards at Dutrow Elementary School, Dozier Middle School and Woodside High School - which her children attended, in addition to serving on the PTA board at Yates, where she has taught since 1986.Tereska says her community involvement makes her a better teacher. Genetics help, too. Tereska says there are many educators in her family, but her mother is her greatest role model. Before she became a teacher herself, she learned by observing her mother at work in the classroom.
Adria Faison Merritt
Middle School Teacher of the Year
Adria Faison Merritt is middle school teacher of the year. She teaches sixth-grade language arts at Crittenden Middle School and has taught at Passage Middle School, Denbigh High School and Jackson Academy.
Merritt, who was active in the 4-H and in the NAACP as a young person, tries to inspire her students to share their gifts with the community. To that end, she’s always looking to expand the boundaries of her classroom. She has been active in the Virginia Association of Teachers of English and its Book Trailer and Literacy Explosion programs. She is creator of the latter, a language arts festival designed to integrate literacy and 21st-century know-how.
Teaching also runs in Merritt’s family. Her grandmother began a 50-year teaching career in a one-room schoolhouse. She says among the lessons her grandmother imparted are creativity, resourcefulness and innovation. Merritt believes that teachers are lifelong learners - particularly where technology is concerned. It’s no surprise that 21 to Watch winner Merritt uses iPods and QR codes in the classroom.Merritt says she enjoys growing along with her students.
Division and High School Teacher of the Year
Sara Brandt is high school and division teacher of the year for NNPS. She teaches junior and senior English at Woodside High School, where she is in her 14th year of teaching. A National Board-certified teacher, she is co-sponsor of the National Honor Society and finds, organizes and participates in service projects with students.
Brandt currently is one of only two pilot teachers in Virginia for the Capstone English Senior Seminar class. The course is designed to enhance the college, career and citizenship skills of seniors by emphasizing critical thinking and student autonomy.
A graduate of Menchville High School, she was a business major in college and worked in retail management before realizing she had a calling to be a teacher. Brandt believes she learns more from her students than they do from her and she says the most gratifying - and the most humbling - thing about being a teacher is being a part of students’ journey to adulthood.
Brandt says her goal is to nurture better thinkers and problem solvers. She tries to create a respectful classroom atmosphere that encourages discussion and risk-taking.
Teachers of the Year, 2012-2013
|Early Childhood Centers||Elementary Schools, cont.|
|Sharon R. Carrow||Denbigh ECC||Lori P. Register||Palmer Elementary|
|Tonya M. Griffin||Gatewood PEEP||Deborah A. Eggers||Richneck Elementary|
|Wendy E. Mihalcoe||Lee Hall ECC||Angela M. Kirby||Riverside Elementary|
|Helen M. Shanks||Marshall ECC||Nancy B. Rickabaugh||Sanford Elementary|
|Kimberly L. Powell||Watkins ECC||Katherine J. Miller||Saunders Elementary|
|Ashley M. Dunn||Sedgefield Elementary|
|Elementary Schools||Martha S. Tereska||Yates Elementary|
|Karen L. Savage||An Achievable Dream Academy|
|Michelle R. Braxton||Carver Elementary||Middle Schools|
|Tami Byron||Charles Elementary||Bobbi S. Conrad||An Achievable Dream|
|Frieda A. Clear||Deer Park Elementary||Adria F. Merritt||Crittenden Middle|
|Teri T. Sanguinetti||Dutrow Elementary||Patricia A. Ferguson||Dozier Middle|
|Recharlette M. Hargraves||Epes Elementary||Lindsey G. Mackie||Gildersleeve Middle|
|Kendra L. Thomas||General Stanford Elementary||Autem N. Clay||Hines Middle|
|Heather R. Trueblood||Greenwood Elementary||Jenifer A. Carrigan||Huntington Middle|
|Shanna M. Jones||Hidenwood Elementary||Cori B. Harris||Passage Middle|
|Lynne L. Adams||Hilton Elementary||Heather M. Marconi||B.T. Washington Middle|
|Ashley D. Tingler||Jenkins Elementary|
|Christopher W. Joy-Hogg||Kiln Creek Elementary||High Schools|
|Dawn M. Barnes-Tyson||Lee Hall Elementary||Lynn A. Tucker||Denbigh High|
|Valerie M. Mayberry||Magruder Elementary||Angie L. Crew||Heritage High|
|Meredith A. Hager||McIntosh Elementary||Jessica E. Mitchell||Menchville High|
|Jennifer D. Leadbetter||Nelson Elementary||Sherri L. Sanchez||Warwick High|
|Pamela G. Pressley||Newsome Park Elementary||Sara J. Brandt||Woodside High|