Teacher of the Year for DoDEA Headquarters
AP Calculus AB and BC
Virtual High School
HUB location: Ft. Rucker Elementary School
Jo Brooks teaches AP Calculus AB and BC, C++ Programming and Algebra II with the DoDEA Virtual High School. Brooks, a DoDEA graduate of Kinnick High School in Yokohama, Japan, has been with the virtual school for 16 years.
In 1972, Brooks received her Bachelor of Science in Education from Western Montana College in Dillon, Mont. In 1986, she received her Masters of Science in Math Education from Troy State University in Troy, Ala.
Before teaching with DoDEA, Brooks taught mathematics and Spanish both overseas and stateside.
Brooks has served as the union FRS and local president for DoDEA's distance learning teachers for 13 years. She is also on the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and the Mathematics Association of America.
Brooks says that while it can be a challenge to teach from a distance, it is also very exciting to continually learn ways to enhance the learning experience for the students through the use of technology.
Brooks is looking forward to the expansion of the virtual school to make it available to more students, who want or need to take courses.
In her spare time, Brooks is active in the community and serves as treasurer for the Save Our Strays (SOS) Animal Shelter. She and her husband also own a cageless dog boarding business, Dog Days, in Enterprise, Ala.
Brooks and her husband have three children.
Teacher of the Year for South Carolina/Fort Stewart/DoDDS Cuba
3rd Grade, all subject areas
Kessler Elementary School
Fort Stewart, Georgia
As a veteran and Army wife, Tracey Fairfax feels a true connection to military families. She applies her understanding of the culture of the school and the community to create and maintain a positive focus and open line of communication that allows for a student-centered vision.
Fairfax began her DoDEA career as a second grade teacher at West Point Elementary School in West Point, NY. She teaches third grade at Patrick Kessler Elementary; located on Fort Stewart, Georgia.
In addition to being in touch with the needs of students and parents, she is always searching for ways to improve upon the learning experiences of students and readily implements strategies to enhance the learning environment.
Fairfax is originally from Bartow, FL. After serving in the U.S. Army, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Fayetteville State University in North Carolina in 2001. Fairfax earned her Master of Science in Education from the University of South Carolina in 2005.
Recently, Fairfax earned her Education Specialist degree in Educational Leadership from Capella University in Minn.
She and her husband, Lt. Col. Duane A. Fairfax, have a daughter and a son.
Julia Eckl Goodrich
Teacher of the Year for North Carolina District, DDESS
3rd Grade, all subject areas
Gordon Elementary School
Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Julia Goodrich has 38 years of teaching experience; 22 years of those have been with DoDEA schools. Goodrich joined the staff of Gordon Elementary School in the fall of 2008, and in January 2009 she was one of the teachers who helped to open the school. Goodrich is a graduate of Florence State University with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. After finishing her undergrad, she earned a Master of Arts in Elementary Education from the University of North Alabama. She went on to earn an Education Specialist degree in Elementary Education from the University of North Alabama.
A four-year overseas assignment from 1989-1993, with Upwood Elementary School on Royal Air Force (RAF) Upwood, United Kingdom, was Goodrich's first induction to DoDEA. From 1993-1996 Goodrich taught 1st and 3rd grade at Murray Elementary School. From 1996-2009 she taught 2nd grade at Devers Elementary School. Currently, Goodrich teaches 3rd grade at Gordon Elementary School. All three DDESS schools are located on Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Before joining DoDEA, Goodrich taught first grade with Oakland Elementary School and Wilson Elementary School, both with the Lauderdale County Schools in Alabama. Goodrich and her husband enjoy all levels of camping, from primitive backpacking to traveling the United States in their motorhome. They have three West Highland Terriers that are constant companions wherever they go.
Teacher of the Year for Kentucky District, DDESS
9th-12th Grade Math/Algebra
Fort Campbell High School
Fort Campbell, Kentucky
Geary Schwartz is an Algebra teacher for 9th-12th grade at Fort Campbell High School in Fort Campbell, Ky. Schwartz also served as Algebra Coach for three years during the DoDEA Mathematics Initiative for Fort Campbell. He also served on the DoDEA Assessment Task Force.
Schwartz began his career with DoDEA in August of 1982 and was stationed in Bitburg, Germany. At Bitburg High School, he primarily taught mathematics, initiated the Lab classes, and coached football, basketball, soccer, cross country and track and field during his time there. Schwartz also served as a Continuous School Instruction (CSI) team member and as CSI chairperson.
In 1976, Schwartz received his Bachelor of Science in Physical Education with a minor in mathematics from the University of Bridgeport in Bridgeport, Conn. In 1998, he received his master's degree in Education and Curriculum from National Louis University.
Prior to teaching with DoDEA, Schwartz taught Algebra 1 & 2 at Weaver High School in Hartford, Connecticut and was the initial head football coach at Stafford Springs High School from 1979-1980. Beginning in 1980, Schwartz taught mathematics and was assistant football and head track coach at Piper High School located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He has teaching at Fort Campbell High School since 2003.
Schwartz felt a strong desire to become a teacher to "give back to the system" which had nurtured him both academically and athletically. Schwartz chose to teach mathematics because of his fascination with numbers, patterns, and their relationships.
Schwartz and his wife, Samantha, have two sons, Dylan and Kyle.
Teacher of the Year for NY/VA/PR District, DDESS
6th Grade Social Studies
Antilles Middle School
Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico
"Tim Proskauer is a special teacher, one of those who was born to be an excellent teacher because he is caring, loving, patient, creative, energetic, and attentive not only with students but also with his colleagues and parents. Mr. Proskauer also demonstrates the highest level of professional commitment and competency in his work with students and colleagues," said Antilles Middle School Principal Nancy Maldonado.
Tim Proskauer is a sixth grade social studies teacher at Antilles Middle School. He has been with DODEA for 12 years, during which time he has taught special education, served as the Special Education team leader, coached the basketball and math teams, served on the school improvement team, and been the 6th grade team leader. He has a particular interest in using data to drive school improvement, and has been a leader in the PR district in improving the collection, analysis, and use of student assessment results. He was a member of the DoDEA Middle Level Task Group from 2009-2010 and is currently representing his district in the Teacher Leader Community through the Center for School Leadership.
Proskauer earned a BA in religious studies from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut in 1992. From 1992-1994, Proskauer worked with emotionally and behaviorally disordered children at the Brandon Residential Treatment Center in Natick, Mass. He worked in the Boston Public Schools from 1994-1996, along the way earning a his M. Ed. in special education from Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass., through the Pathways to Teaching Careers program. From 1996-1999 he worked in the Seattle School District teaching math, science, and special education at Meany and Madison Middle Schools. He came to Puerto Rico and DoDEA in 1999.
Outside of school Mr. Proskauer is active in the community as a Boy Scout leader and coach in the Army Youth Sports program. He also participates in adult softball and is a member of an adult swim team. He and his wife, Maria, have four sons ages 13, 13, 12 and 8. He is proud of the education they have received as students in the DoDEA schools!
Teacher of the Year for Georgia/Alabama District, DDESS
Maxwell Air Force Base Elementary/Middle School
Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama
Rebecca Hill has been with DoDEA for 14 years, and she currently teaches gifted education (K- 8th) at Maxwell AFB Elementary/Middle School. She is known as the robotics specialist and she enjoys challenging students through her robotics club and classes. Hill is passionate about providing 21st Century learning opportunities for students to apply STEM skills.
As a military wife, Hill also taught in Arizona, California, South Carolina, Florida and the Philippines at Clark AFB, in a variety of disciplines.
She majored in Early Childhood Education at the University of Alabama in Birmingham and graduated with her bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ. She earned her Master of Arts in Gifted Education from the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Ala.
Hill and her husband, Kelly, have two daughters Kelsey and Ashley, and a son-in-law, Trey. Hill frequently is confused with her identical twin sister, Ginny, in the education field in South Carolina. When not at Maxwell, Hill can be found relaxing at the lake with a good book, quilting, or enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.