At its Feb. 25 meeting, the Fauquier County School Board honored 18 teachers who have been nominated to represent Fauquier County in the WashingtonPost Teacher of the Year competition. A selection panel will choose one of the 18 teachers to be the Fauquier County Teacher of the Year (to be announced later in March); that teacher will be entered into the Teacher of the Year competition.
Katharine Bennett has taught first, third and fourth grades at Pierce Elementary and is now teaching second grade. She recently obtained her English as a Second Language endorsement so that she would be able to serve the ESL students in her classroom better. Bennett is a grant-winning educator who has shared presentations with her colleagues in the county, as well as in Richmond.
Katie Compton began her career at Smith Elementary as a general education teacher and currently teaches second grade. A parent wrote that Compton is a tremendous educator whose enthusiasm for helping children created in their daughter a desire to read and explore many different subjects in-depth. She is the teacher representative for the PTO and the co-chair of the PBIS committee.
Raymond Crowell teaches health and physical education at Marshall Middle School; he also is an activities director and FRESH coordinator and even steps into administrative duties. He co-directs and produces the school musical, organizes and runs the talent shows, and supervises Warrenton Youth Soccer Club rec ball. A colleague said that Crowell’s hard-hitting, open and honest approach to the sometimes-awkward subject material of middle school health and human sexuality helps his students understand the necessity of taking health and fitness seriously.
Melina Graham teaches second grade at Coleman Elementary. A colleague wrote that she leads a morning prayer group for teachers and encourages them during their times of need. Another colleague wrote that Graham has overcome personal struggles and challenges and she brings her fighting spirit into the classroom and school and makes anyone who knows her rise to a higher level.
Bridget Hillin is a kindergarten teacher at Pearson Elementary School. A colleague wrote that she strives to connect and build strong relationships with her students from day one. Hillin sponsors the running club and volunteers at every annual PTO Bingo night, Halloween trunk or treat and cancer walks. She also organized Pearson’s first Dr. Seuss night.
Annie Hoppe is a speech therapist at Greenville Elementary. A colleague wrote that she was able to diagnose the cause of one her student’s speech problems, and after a medical procedure, he is now on the road to speech recovery. She openly shares strategies ranging from speech and writing to phonics and behavior; she exudes professionalism and shares her wealth of knowledge. Hoppe’s advice is trusted by all.
Jerry Hull is a fifth-grade teacher at Brumfield Elementary. Hull’s methods of teaching include a YouTube page with educational songs he wrote for science, math, and language arts; a science blog; the design of an apartment building to teach students electricity, and the creation of a kelp forest to teach habitats. Hull works with Altrusa to DJ dances for the community’s citizens with special needs and volunteering as an assistant den leader with the Cub Scouts.
Linda Hume, seventh-grade English teacher at Warrenton Middle School, connected her students to students in Canada when they participated in the “Global Read Aloud.” Hume plays a major role with the Student Council Association’s activities such as the 2018 Shoe Collection for the needy and organizing holiday care packages for soldiers. Hume is proud of her students for participating in the Community Involvement Challenge, which allowed them to deliver 120 rolls of toilet paper to the Warrenton Family Shelter.
Carolyn Leach, Ritchie Elementary’s “Teacher of the Year” nominee, is a 15-year master teacher; she teaches kindergarten. Ritchie’s principal wrote that Leach is a leader in the school, sponsoring the 24 Club and is the county math representative as well as the go-to person for math instruction. Leach is a national board-certified teacher.
Jen Linthicum goes beyond her math special education classroom at Taylor Middle School to help students and colleagues. She is a Virginia Tiered System of Supportsrepresentative, volleyball coach and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supportscoordinator. Last year, as Taylor was gearing up for its eighth-grade formal, Linthicum made it her mission to ensure every student who wanted to go to the dance was dressed for the occasion.
Janell Maszatics is the instructional technology resource teacher at Thompson, and has provided the students with Ozobots, iPads, headphones, computers and more, through grants. An English as a Second Language teacher and colleague wrote that Maszatics is an active participant in the annual Hispanic Outreach Night, empowering parents with the knowledge of technology resources through her presentations. She introduced students to “The Night Zookeeper,” a creative writing program, and set up a visit with this author.
Lisa Mistretta, Liberty High School special education resource specialist, treats each student and staff member as an individual and does her best to meet their needs. Under Mistretta’s leadership, the Special Ed Department at Liberty has flourished, with 100 percent of the seniors earning a standard diploma for the past three years.
Liz Monseur is a veteran Fauquier High School history teacher who has inspired her students for more than 30 years. She has taught various levels of high school history, including special education, regular education and advanced placement. Monseur has coached academic teams to victory, including a state title. She enjoys providing field trips for her students -- not only to typical historical places like Gettysburg but also to downtown Warrenton so her students can learn more history about the county in which they live.
Beth Rathbone has found a new love in Family and Consumer Science, which she teaches at Cedar Lee Middle School. Her assistant principal wrote that she guides her students through their competencies flawlessly; she accommodates high numbers of students because her class is so popular.
Mary Stright, a 34-year veteran of teaching, brings challenges to her kindergarten students, along with affection, kindness, acceptance and a sense of responsibility. Bradley Elementary’s principal wrote that Stright has enriched the lives of individuals, building a better organization and creating a more just and caring world.
Diane Sutphin, a 23-year veteran teacher, teaches first grade at Grace Miller Elementary. A parent whose son was easily distracted commented how Sutphin helped her to understand her son’s need for motion and what could help him at home. She collaborated with his homeroom teacher, and the young man became a strong, focused, reader. Sutphin was instrumental, along with her first-grade team, in changing classes for reading based on reading level long before it was the norm. She has worked for many years with tutoring programs for students with community volunteers.
Aimee Talomie is described by Auburn Middle School’s principal as one of the school’s most dedicated and compassionate educators, continually going out of her way to ensure her students feel loved and supported. She brings passion to each aspect of her job as a special education teacher.
Chad Wright is a history teacher at Kettle Run High School, the leader of the Model United Nations Club and the Interact Club. The Interact Club completed its revamping of the school courtyard, making it more attractive and functional and raised funds for both hurricane relief and Kettle Run students in need.