“Dr. Laura Alvarez is a secondary teacher who models excellence in instruction. She engages students in authentic and meaningful tasks that challenge them to grow and excel at high levels of rigor. Each time I visit her classroom, I observe students articulating their learning goals, engaging in classroom discourse to build on their understanding, and respectfully acknowledging differences in thoughts and opinions,” said Christy Huddleston, the Department of Defense Education Activity Southeast District superintendent. “Not only is she a teacher of excellence in the classroom, but she also is a teacher leader who was recognized for her class making significant gains on the DoDEA College and Career Ready Summative assessment last year during the pandemic. Although her classroom switched to remote learning on several occasions last year, her dedication to students never wavered, and their academic progress soared. She is dedicated, compassionate, intentional and encourages each student to reach their greatest potential.”

Alvarez is a veteran educator with 18 years in education. Alvarez passionately believes in making strong bonds with students to establish trust, ensuring high-quality 21st-century learning.

She has been a teacher at Ft. Knox Middle High School since 2017. During her tenure, she is held numerous positions, such as senior class sponsor, student activities director, English department chair, site literacy leader, and Professional Learning Community Facilitation committee chair. She also is a member of the Continuous School Improvement committee. Prior to joining DoDEA in Kentucky, she worked at DoDEA’s Antilles High School in Puerto Rico as a special education technician, long-term substitute, and varsity cheerleading coach.

Lonnie Gilmore, the principal at Ft. Knox Middle High School describes Alvarez as, “An excellent leader with a ‘can do’ attitude. She is the type of teacher that looks at a problem and approaches it as what needs to be done, how can I get it done, and here are a few examples of what we can do to fix it.” Gilmore values the experience she brings to the classroom. “Alvarez possesses the qualities and attributes of a seasoned educator. She assesses students on a regular basis and uses the data from those assessments to improve teaching and learning in the classroom. She has a practice in place where she uses grouping strategies and tier one activities to provide interventions as needed. This not only allows a framework for her to assess students, but it also builds the capacity for students to strengthen skills such as collaboration, communication and critical thinking — all of which are 21st century skills,” he said.

Prior to coming to DoDEA, Alvarez was a kindergarten through eighth grade math specialist and a kindergarten, first and third grade teacher in Florida public schools.

Alvarez earned her bachelor’s degree in child development and family sciences from Florida State University, a master’s in educational leadership from Stetson University and her doctorate in educational and organizational leadership from University of Florida.

Josh Adams, the Department of Defense Education Activity Kentucky community superintendent, also recognized Alvarez for her school-based contributions. “Dr. Alvarez is a dedicated and determined member of the FKMHS team. She provides great instruction to her students and also supports the school in various roles. We are so proud to have her represent us as our teacher of the year!”

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Dr. Laura Alvarez Language Arts and Drama Teacher
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