“She asks the tough questions and pushes us to step outside our comfort zones when utilizing best practices and strategies,” said Dr. Beth Costa, principal of Monticello High School, talking about Jessica Eisenhauer, who was named yesterday as Albemarle County Public Schools’ 2022-23 Teacher of the Year. Of the more than 1,300 teachers in the school division, 25 were recognized as Teacher of the Year for their respective schools, and among this select group, Eisenhauer will move forward as the school division’s nominee for the Virginia Teacher of the Year competition.
“Jessica always is looking at data, designing interventions, and working with the team to improve student learning,” Costa added.
Speaking about Eisenhauer, who is in her fifth year at Monticello High School and chairs the math department, her colleague Scott Ritchie said, “If you’ve been a student of Ms. Eisenhauer once, you’re a student of hers forever.”
The school division also announced yesterday that its 2022-23 Classified Employee of the Year is Pecolia Conner, a teaching assistant and Extended Day Enrichment Programs (EDEP) site facilitator for Agnor-Hurt Elementary School. Conner, who is completing her 13th year at the school, was described as a “warm demander” by her principal, Dr. Michael Irani. “With their trust in hand, Pecolia holds her students to high standards, both in terms of academics and behavior. If she needs support with a child, she partners effectively with families and teachers,” Irani shared.
Kelvin Reid, Director of EDEP, said of Conner: “She readily connects with her audience through her humor, warmth and care because they recognize she is absolutely authentic.”
“I want to thank Jessica and Pecolia for so passionately leading us in our mission to build relationships with students, families and colleagues to ensure that all students reach their full potential,” said Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Matthew Haas. “High-quality, culturally responsive teaching and learning will close achievement gaps while improving the experience of all of our students,” he added.
“The professionals honored through our teacher and classified employee of the year program reflect the best work going on in our division. They represent our highest performance standards, caring about and promoting our dedication to knowing and supporting every student,” Haas said.
Each school and department in the division was invited to nominate a teacher and classified employee for recognition. Executive Director of Human Resources, Dan Redding, explained that a committee of executive staff, principals, teachers, and parents formed the selection committee.
Elementary school teachers and classified employees of the year include:
- Agnor-Hurt: Adam Mohr, multi-age classroom teacher; Pecolia Conner, teaching assistant & EDEP site facilitator
- Baker-Butler: Danielle Paxton, second-grade teacher; Emily Sims, school nurse
- Broadus Wood: Elizabeth Strauss, fifth-grade teacher; Ruth Smith, office associate
- Brownsville: Angela Rutherford, intervention teacher; Jennifer Layne, office associate
- Crozet: Jaylen Crist, third-grade teacher; Juliannah Vining, social emotional learning coach
- Greer: Karen Snead, third-grade teacher; Darla Ullery, bookkeeper
- Hollymead: Sarah LaPrade, fourth-grade teacher; CJ Hall, teaching assistant
- Meriwether Lewis: Bonnie Carey, fourth-grade teacher; Kelley Hathaway, office associate & bookkeeper
- Mountain View: Mary Morales, fourth-grade immersion teacher; Darleen Ragland, teaching assistant
- Murray: Hollins Mills, kindergarten teacher; Janet King, office associate
- Red Hill: Arilana Zlotnick, school counselor; Casey Powell, office associate & bookkeeper
- Scottsville: Elizabeth Cox, second-grade teacher; Elizabeth Payne, teaching assistant
- Stone-Robinson: Laura Sexton, first-grade teacher; Stephanie Jones, custodial team leader
- Stony Point: Julia Trammell-McGill, librarian; Teresa Jones, teaching assistant
- Woodbrook: Kim Martin, second-grade teacher; Susan Reuschling, office associate
Middle school teachers and classified employees of the year include:
- Burley: Ainsley Davis, sixth-grade English teacher; Sharon Wood, office associate
- Henley: Pam Koury, eighth-grade civics teacher; Alissa Layne, office manager
- Journey: Patricia Mariscal, seventh-grade math teacher, intervention; Chastity Clements, office associate
- Lakeside: Bobby Gregg, band director; Connor Harris, school-based substitute teacher
- Walton: Heather Kepple, eighth-grade science teacher; Lolita Curry, teaching assistant
High school teachers and classified employees of the year include:
- Albemarle: Jennifer Morris, music and choral director; Carol Janssens, school nurse
- Monticello: Jessica Eisenhauer, math teacher; Roxanne Steppe, teaching assistant & coordinator
- Western Albemarle: Brian Bell, science teacher; David McCauley, school custodian
From Community Lab School, which serves grades 6-12, the teacher and classified employee of the year are history teacher, Kristin Wilson, and office associate, Rachel O’Neill.
At the department level, Building Services nominated Tracy Hocutt, office administrator; Child Nutrition selected Lisa Marshall, food service manager; Transportation Services nominated Robert Mitchell, parts and service clerk; and, reflecting its dual role in the schools, the Department of Technology selected both a teacher of the year, learning technology integrator Jessa Campbell, and a classified employee of the year, senior technology support specialist Christina Denyer.
“We brought this process forward to highlight exceptional professionals and to celebrate their considerable contributions to the fulfillment of the three goals outlined in our strategic plan—ensuring that students thrive, that communities are valued, and that students are benefiting from equitable and transformative resources,” Redding said.
All nominees were recognized by the Albemarle County School Board during its meeting last evening.
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Strategic Communications Officer