Educator Recognition

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Teacher Appreciation Week

Since 1984, the National PTA and the National Education Association have designated a 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 #ThankATeacherVA each year.

Virginia Teacher of the Year Program

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.

2023 Teacher of the Year

Fabiana Parker, an English as a second language teacher at Thornburg Middle School in Spotsylvania County, was named the 2023 Virginia Teacher of Year during a livestreamed announcement by Governor Glenn Youngkin on September 30, 2022. Youngkin announced Parker’s selection at the conclusion of the annual Virginia Teacher of the Year ceremony, which also included remarks by Secretary of Education Aimee Guidera, state Board of Education President Dan Gecker, 2022 Virginia Teacher of the Year Daphne Fulson, and Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow. Watch highlights from the video graphic 2023 Virginia Teacher of the Year announcement and read the September 30th, 2022 News Release  to learn more.  Use the menu on the left to learn about the 2023 honorees.

Past Recipients

Read more about past Virginia and Regional Teachers of the Year using the menu on the left.  Our network of Teachers of the Year continue  to demonstrate leadership not only in the classroom and in their communities, but by participating on committees and panels, in focus groups, and through other VDOE initiatives. 

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.

Kimberly CollinsTaylor Goodson2021-2022

Although no announcements were made in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, two Virginia educators were named 2021 Milken Educators during surprise announcements in the spring of 2022! Ms. Kimberly Collins is an English Teacher at Virginia Beach Middle School and Ms. Taylor Goodson is a third grade teacher at Coventry Elementary School with York County Public Schools.

  •  Kimberly Collins – Virginia Beach Middle School – Virginia Beach City Public Schools
  • Taylor Goodson - Coventry Elementary School - York County Public Schools

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.

National History Teacher of the Year Award

2018 Virginia History Teacher of the Year – Rusty Carlock is the 2018 Virginia History Teacher of the Year. Carlock is an eleventh-grade teacher of Virginia and United States History at Albemarle High School in Albemarle County.