ALCONBURY, ENGLAND — April 1, 2021 — DoDEA Europe West Superintendent, Mr. Kent Worford, announces the selection of Ms. Jessica Mitchell as Teacher of the Year 2022.
Jessica Mitchell is passionate about facilitating a human-centered education. It is her educational philosophy to cultivate positive relationships and authentic connections with her students before they engage in the rigorous discovery to become Artistically Literate. After graduating from Northern Arizona University in 2006, Jessica started her Visual Arts teaching career at Millennium High School in Goodyear, Arizona before taking the position at Alconbury Middle High School on RAF Alconbury, England to teach 6-12th grade art in 2008. The Military-Connected community she was now immersed in gave her an appreciation for how her students and their families exercise resilience. It reinforced the importance of establishing a positive and engaging classroom culture for student learning.
Ms. Mitchell's passion for teaching art is not just for the successful works· of art to be hung on the wall but ultimately the journey each student takes as they actively engage in the artistic process. It is in the midst of that process, the student experiences the most growth and it is where they are confronted by obstacles, not only in the art techniques but the ones they place in front of themselves. The student is empowered to decide the course of their own success, giving them agency in their own learning.
Beyond the art room, Ms. Mitchell has taken an active role in extracurricular areas of leadership such as Creative Connections, the High School Student Council, Random Acts of Kindness, and Art Club sponsor, Instructional Leadership Team, and is the School News Liaison.
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 2022. 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 2022 District Teacher and the 2022 DoDEA Teacher of the Year will begin on January 1, 2022 and runs through December 2022. The selection is made months before the term begins 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 (2021) DoDEA Teacher of the Year's term runs through the end of December 2021.
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 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.