FCPS Names Melissa Barb its 2022 Teacher of the Year

  • Middletown Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher Melissa Barb has been named Frederick County Public Schools’ 2022 Teacher of the Year. Superintendent of Schools David Sovine visited Middletown Elementary School this morning to surprise Barb with the award.

    Barb, who has taught at Middletown Elementary School since 2013, was inspired to pursue a career in teaching by her own first grade teacher as well as her experiences working with children as a teenager. She believes building relationships is one of the keys to being a successful teacher. Barb says, “Dr. James Comer put it well when he said, ‘No significant learning can occur without a significant relationship.’ Building those relationships is the core of my teaching philosophy. Positive relationships encourage a student’s motivation and engagement in learning. All students need to feel that their teachers respect their opinions and interests. I strive to be that teacher who connects with each and every student because every child, no matter their background, has the ability to prosper and become successful. Without connections, students don’t have the motivation to learn.”

    Sovine says, “Mrs. Barb is an outstanding example of a teacher who is passionate about helping all students succeed. She develops meaningful connections with her students, customizes her instruction based upon their needs and interests, and is committed to professional growth. In addition, Mrs. Barb has exemplified great patience and flexibility throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in order to best serve students. During the 2020-21 school year, she served as her school’s first grade all-virtual teacher and not only did an outstanding job with her students, but embraced the challenge as an opportunity to grow professionally and become an even better teacher.”

    Barb was one of three finalists for the Teacher of the Year Award. The other finalists were Evendale Elementary School Special Education Teacher Beth Sager and Jordan Springs Elementary School English Language Learner Teacher Jackie Zacarias.

    The other nominees were: Bethany Crouse, Apple Pie Ridge Elementary School; Rebecca Dellinger, Armel Elementary School; Kelly Schachtschneider, Bass-Hoover Elementary School; Caitlin Christian, Gainesboro Elementary School; Whitney Payne, Greenwood Mill Elementary School; Nicole Surface, Indian Hollow Elementary School; Kimberly Greene, Orchard View Elementary School; Kalyn Corron, Redbud Run Elementary School; Laura Ridgeway, Stonewall Elementary School; Bret Clovis, Admiral Richard E. Byrd Middle School; Maggie Schrock,

    Frederick County Middle School; Michelle Foura, James Wood Middle School; Keith Howard, Robert E. Aylor Middle School; Brian Thomas, James Wood High School; Jared Uhler, Millbrook High School; Melanie Davis, Sherando High School; MaryAnn Barnhill, Dowell J. Howard Center; and Jennifer Floyd, Senseny Road School/Northwestern Regional Educational Programs.
    Frederick County Public Schools initiated the Teacher of the Year program in 1990. Each spring, every school site nominates one candidate for the Teacher of the Year Award. Each candidate is asked to complete an application which is reviewed by a committee of community leaders and educators. Three finalists are selected and interviewed to determine the Frederick County Teacher of the Year. The recipient of the award represents Frederick County in the Virginia Teacher of the Year program.

    The Teacher of the Year receives a plaque; a gold signet ring featuring the school division’s logo encircled by the words “Teacher of the Year”; a $3,000 spending account to be used for instructional materials, supplies or travel; and a $250 gift card. The Teacher of the Year runners-up receive a plaque; a $1,000 spending account to be used for instructional materials, supplies or travel; and a $250 gift card.

    Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield sponsored this year’s Teacher of the Year Award. The ring given to the Teacher of the Year is provided by Gregg Miller, the local representative of the Herff Jones Company. The gift cards awarded to the Teacher of the Year and the two runners-up were donated by McGriff Insurance Services.

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