Monday, December 9, 2019

Celebrating our 2019-2020 Teachers of the Year

Congratulations to all the teachers who were recently announced by their schools as Teacher of the Year.  Over the next few months the finalists will complete a portfolio that will be reviewed by the division's Teacher of the Year Committee.  The committee, composed of former honorees, will review the portfolios and select one teacher from each level as the Elementary, Middle, and High School Teacher of the Year.  Those three finalists will be further evaluated and the committee will select the overall Teacher of the Year for IWCS.  
The nine teachers announced as this year's honorees are excellent representatives of the quality educators in all of our schools.  To learn more about these outstanding individuals, you can scroll down to see a brief bio for each of them.  

Isle of Wight County Schools
2019-2020 Teachers of the Year

Christine Rosenberry is a preschool teacher at Carrollton Elementary School.  She has taught preschool for 21 years.  Prior to teaching at CAES she taught one year in Portsmouth Public Schools and just completed her 20th year at Carrollton Elementary.  She is originally from Chesapeake and attended Chesapeake Public Schools.  She graduated from Christopher Newport University with a Bachelor’s degree is in Early Childhood Psychology.  Mrs. Rosenberry has been part of the school leadership team at CAES, as well as a mentor to aspiring teachers from the Teachers for Tomorrow program at Smithfield High School.  She provides classroom experiences that help build a solid learning foundation for some of Carrollton’s youngest learners.  Her goal is to create a classroom where children feel accepted and loved.  She feels that once that goal is achieved, learning will take place.  Mrs. Rosenberry lives in Isle of Wight County with her husband and two sons.

Karen Reeder is a reading specialist at Carrsville Elementary School.   This is her fourth year at Carrsville Elementary, previously serving as a reading specialist at Windsor Elementary for thirteen years.  Prior to teaching in Isle of Wight, she taught for three years in the Shenandoah Valley.  Originally from Sandston, Virginia, she attended Bridgewater College and earned her undergraduate degree with an elementary education certification.  She later earned her master’s degree in reading education from James Madison University.  Mrs. Reeder constantly looks for opportunities to serve others in her school community.  She is an administrative aide who actively works with parents and teachers to provide academic resources for students in the building.  She loves watching her students become confident readers.  Mrs. Reeder and her husband reside in Suffolk. 

Mallory Bradley is a coding teacher at Hardy Elementary School and is currently in her thirteenth year of teaching in Isle of Wight County Schools. Prior to teaching coding, Mrs. Bradley taught second grade for ten years at Hardy Elementary School. Originally from Mansfield, Ohio, Mrs. Bradley received her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from Spring Arbor University in Spring Arbor, Michigan. She will complete her master’s degree in Educational Leadership in the spring of 2020 from Regent University. Mrs. Bradley currently serves as an administrative aide, resource department chair, new teacher mentor, yearbook committee chair, and a Great Computer Challenge coach. She provides creative, authentic, and interactive instruction that challenges students to dig deep, think critically, and take chances. Mrs. Bradley values the relationships she creates with her students and their families. She currently resides in Smithfield with her husband, who also works for the school district, and their two children, one of whom is a student at Hardy Elementary School.

Rachel Batts is a fourth grade Special Education teacher at Westside Elementary School. This is her eighth year at Westside Elementary School and her fifteenth year as a special education teacher, having taught students from Kindergarten to sixth grade.  Mrs. Batts grew up in Portsmouth, Virginia and attended Old Dominion University, earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Therapeutic Recreation and a Master’s of Education in Special Education. She is a certified trainer in the Handle with Care program, where she is currently partnering to train all Westside staff. She has been an active participant in the Westside Relay for Life team, as well as a leader for the Community Service Kids club.  She is an active collaborator with special education and general education teachers and served as a professional mentor to both groups.  She believes that all students have the ability and the drive to learn, and will 
grow when provided the right instruction in a compassionate environment.  Mrs. Batts lives in Suffolk with her husband, daughter and son.

Christine Byrum is a first grade teacher at Windsor Elementary School.  She is in her twenty-fifth year of teaching, having spent all of those years proudly at Windsor Elementary School.  Mrs. Byrum is a product of Isle of Wight County Schools and earned her teaching certificate and undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Psychology from Christopher Newport University. Mrs. Byrum has served as her grade-level chairperson, a steering committee member for Response to Intervention in Isle of Wight County Schools, and her building’s representative for the county’s Teacher Advisory Committee.  Her classroom encourages open communication and collaboration where students are empowered to be risk-takers and critical thinkers.  She loves the opportunity she has as an elementary school teacher in building the foundation for her students’ life-long love of learning.  Mrs. Byrum lives in Suffolk with her husband and three children. 

Jeff Hampton is a Health and Physical Education teacher at Georgie Tyler Middle School.  He is originally from Ocala, Florida and graduated from Liberty University where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education with a minor in Health. Mr. Hampton is in his 18th year of teaching, all at Georgie Tyler and the former Windsor Middle School, where he has served as the School Leadership Team chairperson for four years along with mentoring first year teachers at GTMS.  He has been leading a basketball club for the past 15 years, and also sponsors a handball club at the school.  He previously served as sponsor of the Spikeball and Handball clubs, taught beginner’s Tennis, and coached basketball at Windsor High School for six years.  His passion for education is simple…he loves kids, staying active, and playing sports, in that order.  He currently lives in Suffolk, Virginia and is married with 2 sons. 

Ericka Jurist is in her second year as a School Counselor at Smithfield Middle School. She attended George Mason University and earned a Bachelor of Social Work degree in 2014, and a Master of Education in School Counseling degree from Old Dominion University in 2018. Her transition from social work to middle school counseling was fueled by her love of working with youth during her experience assisting at a teen crisis shelter. She currently serves as a member of the School Leadership Team, 504 case manager, Response to Intervention facilitator, School Testing Coordinator and Drama Club sponsor. She is passionate about creating safe spaces for students to learn how to manage the ups and downs of life, as well as helping students prepare for their future. She was born and raised in Newport News, and now calls Yorktown home with her husband and beloved dog. 

Jason Henderson is math teacher at Smithfield High School, where he has spent his entire thirteen year teaching career.  He was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, where in eleventh grade he realized he wanted to be a math teacher, and is a graduate of Christopher Newport University.  Mr. Henderson is committed to student success inside the classroom and works to prepare students for life.  He strives to make connections with students with the hope that they will find their passion for learning.  In addition to teaching, he is the varsity boys’ soccer coach, co-sponsor of the Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society, and volunteers with the high school’s athletic program.  Mr. Henderson lives in Smithfield with his wife, son, and furry friends.

Jessica Brannan is currently in her 6th year of teaching and second year with Isle of Wight County Public Schools. She teaches Spanish and English as a Second Language (ESL) at Windsor High School. In addition to teaching, Jessica is the Girls’ Varsity Soccer Coach and the Student Government sponsor.  Before joining the Windsor family, Jessica taught Spanish and ESL at Franklin City Public schools for four years. She grew up in Rochester, New York where she received her undergraduate degree in Spanish and Education from the College at Brockport. She completed her master's degree in English as a Second Language with a bilingual extension from Canisius College. She values the power of positive student-teacher relationships and strives to develop long lasting connections with each of her students. Jessica fills her instruction with hands-on activities and cultural experiences that make learning enjoyable and meaningful. Jessica lives in Suffolk with her husband and two dogs.