The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA)-Europe East District proudly announces that Ms. Cindy Holland, a 6th grade English Language Arts teacher at Wiesbaden Middle School in Wiesbaden, Germany has been selected as the 2024 District Teacher of the Year.
“Ms Holland daily demonstrates her deep care for all students and her masterful teaching abilities. She brings honor to the teaching profession, said Sanchez, Europe East District Superintendent. “We are pleased to have her represent the Europe East District as our 2024 Teacher of the Year.”
Cindy Holland is currently a sixth grade English Language Arts teacher at Wiesbaden Middle School. Holland has 23 years of teaching experience, teaching for 10 years in South Carolina and 13 years with DoDEA. Holland attended Georgia Southern University, in 1998 she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English. Holland started working on her teaching resume in college as a tutor at the Boys and Girls Club, in the university writing center and as one of the university athletic tutors. In 1999 Holland attended Converse College earning a Master of Education in 2000. While attending Converse, she worked with at-risk students and taught graduation equivalent diploma (GED) classes in Spartanburg County Jail and two community centers in Spartanburg County. Holland returned to Converse and earned a master’s degree in Gifted Education in 2005. Holland has been in the classroom since 2000 and has taught multiple grades and subjects. Holland earned her National Board Certification in 2007 and has continued her educational pursuit through adding additional teaching certifications, working in positions of educational leadership and working at the doctoral level.
Holland is passionate about equity for all students and ensures that her classroom is a safe environment for students to take risks as they learn. Holland engages in intentional planning with colleagues as a way to bridge learning gaps, provide focused and actionable feedback through conferencing, and help students make connections between different curricular areas. Holland works to ensure the needs of her students are met in the 21st Century learning environment.
“I have been in the classroom for a long time, this award is the culmination of all those years doing what I love most,” said Ms. Holland. “I owe this honor to every student who ever sat in my class and helped me to grow as a teacher,”
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 2024. 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 2024 District Teacher and the 2024 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 (2023) 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.