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Hanover Teacher Named 2025 Virginia Teacher of the Year

Virginia Teacher of the Year Selected from Eight Candidates from Across the Commonwealth

Post Date:05/06/2024 5:00 PM

 For Immediate Release: May 6, 2024
Contact: communications@doe.virginia.gov
                     Todd.Reid@doe.virginia.gov  


RICHMOND — Avanti Yamamoto, a mathematics teacher at Hanover County Public Schools’ Atlee High School, was named the 2025 Virginia Teacher of the Year at an announcement ceremony hosted by Governor Glenn Youngkin on Capitol Square this afternoon. Mrs. Yamamoto was selected last month as one of the Commonwealth’s eight regional teachers of the year and is now Virginia’s nominee for 2025 National Teacher of the Year. 

“The eight teachers here today represent the best of their profession, and it is wonderful to have the opportunity to celebrate Virginia teachers across the Commonwealth who work tirelessly to educate, prepare, and grow our students,” said Governor Youngkin. “Congratulations to Avanti Yamamoto, a fantastic teacher who will be a great representative for all educators in the Commonwealth.”

“Avanti truly embodies everything you want in a teacher – she is passionately committed to her students, colleagues, and school, and is motivated to see everyone achieve great success,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Lisa Coons. “We are proud to have Avanti represent all of Virginia as our Teacher of the Year, but we’re also blessed to have seven other exceptional teachers serving as representatives of their communities and fellow educators.” 

Following interviews this morning with each of the eight regional winners, a selection committee chose Avanti Yamamoto, the 2025 Region One Teacher of the Year. The committee included representatives of educational institutions, the business community, and school divisions. 

Mrs. Yamamoto has been a teacher for more than 10 years, eight of which she has spent with Atlee High School. Mrs. Yamamoto has always had a passion for mathematics and working with children and is described by her colleagues as someone who was born to be a teacher. While in her third year at VCU, she decided to pursue a career in education. She has worked with a wide range of students – from special education to advanced math classes – and has reached all students regardless of socio-economic status, learning aptitude, or math background. Mrs. Yamamoto is determined to show all her students that math is not scary and that they are “math people.” 

A pillar in her community, Mrs. Yamamoto spends her free time serving various organizations and clubs. She is currently a member of the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. She also serves as the Key Club International Sponsor at Atlee High School. Mrs. Yamamoto is a teacher who inspires and pushes her students to achieve far beyond what they thought possible and has made a tremendous impact in her students’ lives. 

The seven other 2025 Virginia Regional Teachers of the Year — who were also honored during this evening’s ceremony — are: 

Chanda L. Woods, an integrated language arts teacher at Newport News Public Schools’ Crittenden Middle School (Region 2). 
Beth Marshall, a French teacher at Spotsylvania County Public Schools’ Riverbend High School (Region 3). 
Darnell Greene, a mathematics teacher at Manassas Park City Schools’ Manassas Park Middle School (Region 4). 
Genevieve Weaver, an adapted special education teacher at Bedford County Public Schools’ Jefferson Forest High School (Region 5). 
Candace Nichole Carrier, a career and technical education – agricultural education teacher at Montgomery County Public Schools’ Blacksburg High School (Region 6). 
Andy Holmes, a band director at Smyth County Public Schools’ Marion Senior High School and Marion Middle School (Region 7). 
Emily Wilson Overstreet, a visual arts teacher at Cumberland County Public Schools’ Cumberland Elementary School (Region 8). 

“I am thankful to have our Regional Teachers of the Year begin serving as members of our Teacher Advisory Council, helping elevate the voices and perspectives of teachers across the Commonwealth,” said Coons. 

Following the ceremony, Mrs. Yamamoto and the other teachers were honored at a reception hosted by the Governor and First Lady Suzanne S. Youngkin. 

The 2025 National Teacher of the Year will be announced next spring at a White House ceremony. Three previous Virginia teachers went on to be named National Teachers of the Year: Mary V. Bicouvaris, the 1989 Virginia Teacher of the Year; B. Philip Bigler, the 1998 Virginia Teacher of the Year; and Rodney A. Robinson, the 2019 Virginia Teacher of the Year. 

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