The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA)-Europe West District proudly announces that Tanamatha (Tana) Wood an English teacher at SHAPE High School in Mons, Belgium has been selected as the 2024 DoDEA Europe West District Teacher of the Year.

Ms. Wood is an exceptional, innovative educator, beloved by her students,” said Dr. Jason Ter Horst, Europe West District Superintendent. “She keeps her students engaged through rigorous yet accessible assignments, thoughtful questioning, and unique performance assessments. She is a great example of a teacher leader, as she regularly looks for opportunities to impact positive outcomes at the district-level.

Dr. Jason Ter Horst
Europe West Superintendent

Tana Wood’s lifelong bond with DoDEA began as a child when she attended Augsburg Elementary School, and this partnership bloomed over the years as a teacher in Landstuhl, Wiesbaden, Quantico, and now SHAPE, Belgium, where she gains fulfillment through daily interactions with students in English Language Arts (ELA), Advanced Placement (AP) Language and Composition, and Journalism classes. Mrs. Wood has earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, a Master of Arts in Teaching from Cameron University, and is currently completing a Doctorate of Education (EdD), concentrating in Curriculum, Teaching, Learning, and Leadership (CTLL) at Northeastern University.

As a lifelong learner, she infuses knowledge of curriculum, culturally responsive teaching, technology, metacognition, research, and leadership into her teaching. She supports the whole student, whether in the classroom or through extracurricular activities such as serving as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Club sponsor, freshman and senior level class sponsor, newspaper adviser, cross country head coach, creative arts anthology adviser, School Advisory Committee (SAC) member, AVID site team member, and PTA volunteer yearbook coordinator. Currently, she builds collegiality as ELA chairperson, Continuous School Improvement Leadership Team (CSILT) member, and host teacher for a Western Governors University student teaching candidate, and she enhances community as a member of the DEI and Balanced Assessment working groups.

Ms. Wood strives to build student-centered, equitable, and inclusive learning environments, and as a teacher leader, she enjoys mentoring others in creating differentiated instruction that engages students in the entire learning process.
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 2023. 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 2023 District Teacher and the 2023 DoDEA Teacher of the Year will begin on January 1, 2024, and run through December 2024. 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 (2022) DoDEA Teacher of the Year's term runs through the end of December 2023.

DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade education programs for school-aged children of Department of Defense personnel who would otherwise not have access to a high-quality public education. DoDEA schools are located in Europe, the Pacific, Western Asia, the Middle East, Cuba, the United States, Guam, and Puerto Rico. DoDEA also provides support and resources to Local Educational Activities throughout the U.S. that serve children of military families.

2024 District Teacher of the Year Recipient
Tanamatha D. Wood ELA Teacher
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