Governor Terry McAuliffe announced the selection of Natalie DiFusco-Funk, a fifth-grade teacher at West Salem Elementary in Salem, as the 2016 Virginia Teacher of the Year during an October 19 reception at the Executive Mansion. October 19, 2015, News Release – Governor McAuliffe Announces Selection of 2016 Virginia Teacher of the Year
Since 1984, the National PTA and the National Education Association have designated the first week in May as a special time to honor and celebrate teachers for the important role they play in the growth and development of our children. Virginia takes great pride in joining with these national organizations to #ThankATeacher each year.
Virginia Teacher of the Year Program
DiFusco-Funk is a fifth-grade teacher at West Salem Elementary in Salem.
All public and accredited nonpublic schools are invited to participate in the Mary V. Bicouvaris Virginia Teacher of the Year Program to select the Virginia Teacher of the Year and to honor teachers who represent the best in teaching in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the nation.
The program is open to all teachers in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 who possess a current, renewable Virginia teaching license, including school librarians, school counselors, and reading specialists. Teachers must be employed in a Virginia public or accredited nonpublic school. Candidates should be dedicated, knowledgeable and skilled.
In 2006, the Advisory Board on Teacher Education and Licensure named the program in honor of the 1989 Virginia and National Teacher of the Year, Mary V. Bicouvaris.
The Milken Family Foundation Educator Awards Program
The Milken Family Foundation National Educator Awards are designed to reward elementary and secondary school teachers, principals and administrators who promote excellence and innovation in public education.
The 2015 Milken Educator Award recipient is Amber Dortch, Principal at Hugo A. Owens Middle School in Chesapeake, Virginia. Ms. Dortch is the 41st Virginia educator to receive the award since 1999.
National Teacher Recognition Programs
Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) is the highest recognition that a kindergarten through 12th-grade mathematics or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States.
- See news release July 7, 2015
- 2012 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching – See news release December 20, 2013
- 2011 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching – See news release, June 11, 2012.
National History Teacher of the Year Award
The National History Teacher of the Year Award recognizes outstanding K-12 American history teachers across the country. One finalist from each state, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense schools, and the U.S. territories is selected annually. From these finalists, a national winner is recognized as the National History Teacher of the Year.
John Struck – 2014 Virginia History Teacher of the Year
Fairfax County educator John Struck was named the 2014 Virginia History Teacher of the Year. He teaches Advanced Placement (AP) US History, AP Government and honors 20th-Century World History at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology . Struck is the 11th educator to be honored as the commonwealth's top history teacher by VDOE, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, History, and Preserve America.