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2022 FCPS Teacher of the Year Nominees Celebrated

April 8, 2022

At its April 7 meeting, the Fauquier County School Board honored 18 teachers, all of whom were nominated to be Fauquier County’s representative in the Washington Post Teacher of the Year competition. Once all the nominees were introduced, Superintendent Dr. David Jeck announced Ms. Kasey Willoughby as the Fauquier County Teacher of the Year. She will represent FCPS in the Post’s 2022 Teacher of the Year competition.

The evening began with a reception to honor the nominees, featuring appetizers presented by culinary arts students at Fauquier High School. At the meeting, each school’s Teacher of the Year nominee received a glass apple award from Board Chair Donna Grove and $500 check from The Fauquier Excellence in Education Foundation. Following are nomination excerpts read at the board meeting in recognition of the 18 Fauquier County Teacher of the Year nominees. A recording of the celebration is available at www.fcps1.org/live.

KRISTINE ACKERMAN is an outstanding third grade teacher and collaborator who provides a sense of belonging for her students at P. B. Smith. She has worked to make the school community a place where students know they are valued and respected. Intuitively, Kris recognizes the talents and abilities in her students.

A parent wrote, “Mrs. Ackerman has a caring, nurturing style of working with children that has left a profound, deep impression on me that I will never forget. I am grateful for the opportunity to share how much she has done for us as a family and for any child who has the privilege to be part of her Ack-Pack.”

REBECCA BOISVERT has taught 1st, 3rd, and now 5th grade at Claude Thompson Elementary. She brings learning to life with her songs about the layers of the Earth, her dance to remember the parts of the cell, her silly saying for any math lesson, and her hands-on learning of creating a cookie model of the cell with her students.

A student wrote “Mrs. Boisvert is nice, thoughtful, caring, funny, amazing, silly, kind, and awesome. Mrs. Boisvert always laughs at all our jokes and we always laugh at hers. Mrs. Boisvert is the best teacher I have had. I will miss her when I go to middle school.

JULIE CURRY is a geography teacher at Auburn Middle School and has established herself as one of the school’s most dedicated and passionate professional educators. She serves as lead mentor for new teachers, is the social studies department chair, and is an active member of the school’s leadership team.

One colleague said of Mrs. Curry: “Julie always has a smile on her face, a kind word on her lips, and love in her heart for every person she meets. She works tirelessly to ensure ultimate success for her students and they walk away from her class with the gift of knowledge.”

BROOKE FISHER is a kindergarten teacher at Brumfield Elementary who continuously meets the needs of all her students by collaborating with parents and colleagues and getting to know what motivates her students. From farm animals visiting to classroom experiments, Brooke Fisher’s classroom is an environment rich with curiosity, experiences, and learning.

A colleague says of Brooke, “I have worked in many schools and with many educators. I have rarely come across a teacher and a human being as kind, patient, gentle and dedicated as Brooke.”

CHARLENE FRAZIER teaches two self-contained math classes and serves as an inclusion specialist at Cedar Lee Middle School. She works tirelessly to motivate her students and knows how to help them find their best way to work any math problem.

A colleague wrote, “She is constantly working to better her teaching practices and always does her best to adapt to meet the needs of her students. She is loved by both the students and the staff at Cedar Lee and she is an integral part of the Cedar Lee family.” 

CHRISTY FREAR is a master mathematics teacher and strong leader at Marshall Middle School. Christy is a dynamic instructor who provides engaging lessons for her students, keeps a pace in her classroom that keeps students focused and engaged, and uses every single minute of time.  She also differentiates her lessons and instruction to meet a large variety of learners. 

From a student: “Mrs. Frear is a great teacher and she is very compassionate about all of her students and she always makes sure everyone understands what we are doing in class. She always motivates her students to try hard and do their best.”

EILEEN FITZSIMMONS is a special education teacher at Taylor Middle School who brings her enthusiasm and love of teaching into her classroom daily. She is brilliant when facilitating a class but also one of those teachers whom you can see positively interacting with students in hallways, the cafeteria, and at after school events.

A colleague wrote, “She knows every line and letter of their IEPs, but she also makes such an effort to truly see students and then meet them where they are. With that kind of attention, trust soon follows, and then our students have the drive to achieve.”

BRYAN GRIMLEY During Bryan’s 13 years as an Athletic Trainer at Fauquier High School, he has provided a strong athletic training program, an extremely successful sports medicine curriculum, and an invaluable service to every FHS student athlete. Bryan handles medical emergencies in a calm, professional manner, lends a hand to all sports activities, and recently adapted the COVID-19 mitigation plans for Fauquier County Athletics.

A student wrote, “Seeing the way Coach Grimley interacts with the students and athletes over the years, has helped me realize my potential and my dreams. He is always teaching, whether in the classroom, training room, or on the field. ”

JENNIFER McINTYRE is an outstanding fourth grade teacher at Ritchie Elementary School. Creativity and innovation are prevalent in Mrs. McIntyre's lessons. She sees a need and finds a way to creatively teach the content.

One of her students exclaimed “I had her last year and she was THE BEST! …She also has songs that she wrote and sang herself. They were about things like Jamestown and Science. She has a bunch of funny voices and sound effects for the songs. My favorite is the King of England from Jamestown.

CATHY MEDLOCK is a family and consumer science teacher at Warrenton Middle School who truly puts her students first. Among other things, she has: helped with summer and welcome back videos, directed the school musicals (20 years and counting), served on the leadership team, led the social committee, assisted teachers with technology, and mentored teachers.

Her Assistant Principal wrote, “Mrs. Medlock’s strengths include her positive classroom management procedures and expectations along with her use of technology. She models appropriate behaviors and is adored by her students. It is always a joy to observe her class.”

SARAH MOEHL is a third grade teacher who is dedicated to the students and staff at Pierce Elementary School. She has been the third grade team lead for the past several years and is the rock that keeps the team organized and supported through these difficult years of teaching.  She is also Pierce’s lead mentor and always has time for those that need her.

A fellow teacher stated, “Her differentiation skills are amazing.  She balances what students can do with what they need to do. She puts their strengths at the forefront of her planning while lifting them up and supporting their weaknesses in a manner that gives students confidence.”

DARCY OWENS is a reading specialist at Pearson Elementary School and has made a positive impact on the lives of countless children, parents, and teachers.  She leads the way in pushing many effective programs at the school and, through her own example, encourages everyone to push beyond their comfort zones and to explore all possible avenues to help every child. 

A Pearson teacher wrote, “Darcy embodies the quality of “servant leadership.” She sets high standards for herself and others and jumps in to help wherever needed.  I can think of many times when her advice, encouragement, or kind note has brightened my day and enabled me to better serve my students”.   

CARY POE, ITRT at Greenville Elementary School, is a service-oriented leader at Greenville and throughout the school division. Through positive relationships and collaboration, she has increased teachers’ capacity to provide engaging and relevant learning opportunities including Yoga, Coding, and Battle of the Books to name a few.

A Co-worker stated, “Her ability to connect with her students and her talent at teaching simple concepts, as well as more advanced topics, are both truly superior. She has taken on the responsibility for teaching not only our students, but teachers, staff, and even families during this Covid time.”

ALLISON SHENK is a fourth grade math and science teacher at Grace Miller Elementary School. Allison currently serves on the school's PBIS committee and has served on the math committee, scholarship committee, attended leadership retreats, and sponsored the Math 24 club.   

A parent wrote, “Ms. Shenk was always willing to spend extra time reminding our girls that they do know the answer and allowing them to figure it out on their own but also ready to guide them when they were almost there. Her love for her students and her job as a teacher radiates all over! Ms. Shenk holds a VERY special place in our family’s heart.”

KATIE WADDLE is a United States History teacher at Liberty High School. In addition to being an excellent teacher, Katie has been a valuable member of the leadership team, a department chair, the head cheerleading coach, an instructional coach, and an integral part of the innovation team - helping make the idea of a "Freshmen Experience" a reality.

Her Principal said about Katie, “Her enthusiasm, tireless energy, and positive attitude as a teacher, coach, and department chair has influenced everyone's journey at LHS; we are better because of her.”

ACESHIA WAMPLER is a second grade teacher and special education department chairperson at Bradley Elementary School. Aceshia demonstrates leadership within Bradley on a regular basis and has stepped up into multiple leadership roles.

A parent described: “Last year, Ms. Wampler worked virtually with our fifth-grade student, who has an auditory disability. Let's take a moment to revisit that - she successfully worked VIRTUALLY with a student with an auditory disability. She took time to learn who he is, how he learns successfully and she adapted her teaching style to meet his needs. ……We should all be so lucky to have Ms. Wampler in our professional and personal lives.”

JESSICA WITOWSKI began her career at Coleman Elementary School in 2015 as a K-2 special education instructional assistant where she advocated for the best for Coleman students. A year later she moved into the general education teacher position in first grade and that advocacy did not stop. Jessica works with students of varying developmental needs, and they are all the better from learning in her classroom.

One of her student's parents wrote, “Not only has Mrs. Witowski taught my kids' reading, writing, and math but she has shown them love, kindness, and respect. She has helped them become better people.”

KATHLEEN “KASEY” WILLOUGHBY is a special education teacher at Kettle Run High School. Kasey initiated the special education program STAND (See Talents and Abilities not Disabilities) and established a Unified Sports program. STAND and Unified Sports allow inclusion opportunities for all students in social and sports activities, and Kasey is always there to lead, chaperone, cheer, and share in their joy.

Said one of her peers, Kasey is “the sparkle at the end of the hallway, a laugh that rings out, or a Christmas outfit that cannot be missed” and she brings this joy to her teaching and every student.