For Immediate Release
Date: May 29, 2024

Public Affairs Officer
Pacific Region Public Affairs Officer


(315) 652-5657

DoDEA Announces Cennette Vasconcellos as the 2024 Dr. Linda L. Curtis Educator of Promise Recipient

Cennette Vasconcellos Official photo
Ms. Cennette Vasconcellos

Ms. Cennette Vasconcellos, a second grade teacher at Bechtel Elementary School, has been selected as the 2024 Dr. Linda L. Curtis Educator of Promise. This award celebrates and honors teachers in their first three years of teaching who have made an extraordinary commitment to helping students and consistently go above and beyond in the pursuit of continuous improvement. 

“This recognition is profoundly meaningful to me and serves as a testament to the hard work, dedication, and passion I have for teaching,” Ms. Vasconcellos said. “To be acknowledged as an educator of promise is both humbling and motivating, reinforcing my commitment to providing the best educational experience for my students.” 

Ms. Vasconcellos joined DoDEA in 2021 as a teacher at Bechtel Elementary School, where she cultivates a nurturing, inclusive classroom environment where every student feels valued and empowered to reach their whole potential.  

“I’ve always wanted to be an agent of change and one who advocates and promotes the voices of children by way of teaching, nurturing and molding them into great citizens of the world,” Ms. Vasconcellos said. “I wasn’t always sure how I would be able to do it for children of all walks of life, but working with and for military-connected children has been the perfect way for me to carry out this mission. I love that military-connected students come from a diverse array of cultures, ethnicities and family structures. This gives me the opportunity to celebrate them and for my students to learn how to work, live and play together with all people regardless of their differences.” 

A teacher leader, she serves on Bechtel’s Continuous Improvement Team and helps plan full-day continuous improvement professional learning at her school, even leading a session. She is an active participant in Instructional Rounds, inviting colleagues into her classroom to share best practices and growing as an educator by visiting other classrooms and implementing new strategies in her classroom. 

“Ms. Vasconcellos exemplifies what it means to be a masterful educator who not only possesses a thorough knowledge of the subject matter, but also has the ability to share it effectively with students,” said Mr. Scott Tefft, Bechtel Elementary School principal. “Her commitment to excellence, combined with her unwavering dedication to student success, is inspiring.” 

Outside of the classroom, Ms. Vasconcellos is active in organizing and participating in community events and initiatives aimed at supporting children’s development, including volunteering at after-school programs, organizing literacy drives, and various outreach projects.  

Ms. Vasconcellos holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in English from Grand Canyon University.  

The Dr. Linda L. Curtis Educator of Promise program is named in honor of Dr. Linda Curtis, who dedicated 35 years of service to DoDEA, starting as a teacher and ending her career as Principal Deputy Director and Associate Director of Academics. In every regard, she was a tireless advocate for elevating student achievement. 

The Dr. Linda L. Curtis Educator of Promise program begins with nominations at the school-level with recommendations from a teacher’s peers or administrators. Panels in the three DoDEA regions (Europe, Pacific and Americas) review nominations and select a candidate from each of the eight districts. DoDEA Headquarters (Teaching & Learning Division) then reviews the district candidates and makes a recommendation to the DoDEA Director for approval. 

Additional information about the Dr. Linda L. Curtis Educator of Promise Program, including points of contact, may be found on the DoDEA web site: 

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. 


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