PEACHTREE CITY, GA — March 11, 2020 — Dr. Donato Cuadrado, the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Mid-Atlantic District Superintendent is pleased to announce Ms. Victoria Russ as the 2021 DoDEA Americas Mid-Atlantic District Teacher of the Year.
Ms. Russ is a third grade teacher and the continuous school improvement chairperson at Crossroads Elementary at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. As the chairperson, she facilitates weekly meetings, engages teacher leaders, and leads professional development.
“We continue to benefit from the excellence of our teachers and each year we take the time to highlight a teacher who exemplifies the best of the best,” said Dr. Cuadrado. “Ms. Russ leverages her nearly twenty years of experience in teaching to provide her students with challenging and rewarding educational experiences, connecting the arts with general classroom curriculum. We applaud her efforts and are honored to have her as a member of our Mid-Atlantic family.”
Ms. Russ began her career as a music educator and vocal performer in Florida. She also taught music in Illinois, Maryland, and South Carolina. In 2015, Ms. Russ started working for DoDEA as an elementary music teacher at Crossroads Elementary School. This facility is a 21st-century building, where students learn in neighborhoods arranged by grade. A few class spaces share a common area and are separated from each other by moveable partitions. This allows teachers and students from different classes to collaborate. While here, Ms. Russ decided to get certified to teach grades one through eight to teach in the general classroom.
Ms. Russ earned an Associate of Arts at Santa Fe Community College, a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Florida, and a Masters of Education in Teaching and Learning from Liberty University. She completed her postgraduate studies at the University of San Diego. She continues her education by pursuing her gifted education certification.
She is a military spouse and has three children.
The DoDEA Teacher of the Year Program recognizes and honors exemplary Pre-K, through high school teachers. The process begins at the nomination level where teachers may be nominated by peers, administrators, parents, students or community members.
Each District Teacher of the Year is selected by a district panel using specified criteria to review District teacher of the Year applications. Eight teachers will be named District Teacher of the Year for 2021. Each District Teacher of the Year is invited to apply for the DoDEA Teacher of the Year.
The National Teacher of the Year program, run by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), identifies exceptional teachers nationwide, celebrates their effective work in and outside of the classroom, amplifies their voices and empowers them to take part in policy discussions at the state and national levels.
The year of service for the 2021 District Teacher and the 2021 DoDEA Teacher of the Year will begin on January 1, 2021, and run through December 2021. The selection is made months before the term starts to allow the DoDEA candidate and other candidates from the 50 states time to participate in the National Teacher of the Year program, which selects a finalist in December. The current (2020) DoDEA Teacher of the Year's term runs through the end of December 2020.