Representing the Pacific West district as its 2021 Teacher of the Year is Laird Sessions, Advanced Academic Programs and Services specialist at Daegu Elementary School in South Korea.

Sessions holds a bachelor’s degree in geography from Brigham Young University, a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Utah Valley University, and a master’s degree in education from Utah Valley University. He has 17 years of teaching experience and is in his sixth year of teaching with DoDEA.

As a student, Sessions’ teachers provided him with the resources and tools he needed while also challenging him to become the best version of himself.

“I relate well to students because I have a lot of life experiences to draw from,” Sessions said. “I am passionate about connecting content to students’ lives and making it both relevant and fun for them.”

Sessions said he enjoys making students laugh and helping them to accomplish things they never thought were possible.

“I want to challenge students’ assumptions and develop a sense of wonder and to be as excited about learning as I am. The psychology of motivation fascinates me and I am always trying to help students to develop grit and intrinsic motivation.”

Daegu Elementary School Principal Shenae Wiley said that Sessions is a dedicated, passionate educator.

“Teachers appreciate Laird's collaborative efforts and the insightful contributions that he makes to their learning environments,” Wiley said. “Mr. Sessions supports the mission and vision of DoDEA by ensuring students have access to excellence in education every day. Our students and school are better because of him.”

The DoDEA Teacher of the Year Program recognizes and honors exemplary pre-kindergarten through high school teachers. The process begins at the district level where teachers are 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 applications.

Congratulations to the eight District Teacher of the Year honorees who are recognized for their dedication to excellence in teaching, leading, and learning. They exemplify the quality professionalism of the agency’s teaching workforce.

Laird Sessions PAC W TOY 2021
Laird Sessions Advanced Academic Programs and Service Specialist Teacher
Open modal Return to top