DoDEA Announces 2023 Teacher of the Year

Dr. Kaiser Cara, 2023 TOY

Dr. Cara Kaiser

ALEXANDRIA, VA — May 27, 2022 — Lester Middle School teacher Dr. Cara Kaiser was selected as the 2023 Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Teacher of the Year.

DoDEA Director Mr. Thomas M. Brady discussed Dr. Kaiser's teaching style. "Dr. Cara Kaiser is a remarkable teacher, challenging her students to take risks in a safe environment that fosters personal and academic growth," said DoDEA Director Tom Brady. "She brings out the best in both her students and her peers as an outstanding teacher leader."

DoDEA 2023 Teacher of the Year

Dr. Kaiser teaches sixth and seventh-grade English language arts. She also teaches reading, learning strategies, and Advanced Via Individual Determination (AVID). Dr. Kaiser currently serves as the leader for continuous school improvement (CSI), grade-level chair, school leadership committee member, and school advisory committee member. In addition, she has held various leadership roles, including membership on the DoDEA Pacific South internal review team, technology team, and site literacy team.

"It is a humbling and honoring experience," Dr. Kaiser said of being named 2023 Teacher of the Year. "To be recognized as DoDEA's Teacher of the Year just takes everything — all of the work I have done, and everybody has done — and gives it more meaning."

Ms. Nedra Jones, Principal, Lester Middle School, nominated Dr. Kaiser for Teacher of the Year. She stated, "Dr. Kaiser has proven to be a strong team player, a student-centered teacher, and a collaborative leader. She does whatever she can to help students succeed. Dr. Kaiser is a natural leader with confidence and an ability to build relationships with others to gain the highest achievement for her students."

Dr. Kaiser holds a Doctorate in Leadership in Educational Administration from Capella University, a Master of Education in Technology in Education from Lesley University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Linfield College.

DoDEA Teacher of the Year Program

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 peers, administrators, parents, students, or community members may nominate teachers. Then, each District Teacher of the Year is selected by a district panel using specified criteria to review District Teacher of the Year applications. As a result, eight teachers were named District Teacher of the Year for 2023 and invited to apply for the DoDEA Teacher of the Year.

Along with the public recognition and the award, Dr. Kaiser will enter the National Teacher of the Year (NTOY) application pool and be recognized by the President (pending scheduling) at a future event at The White House. Dr. Kaiser will also attend the NTOY Conference and participate in the Council of Chief of State School Officers (CCSSO)-sponsored Teacher of the Year events.

The year of service for the 2023 Teacher of the Year will begin on Jan. 1, 2023 and run through Dec. 2023. The selection is made months before the term starts to allow the DoDEA candidate and other candidates from the 50 states to participate in the National Teacher of the Year program, selecting a finalist in December. The current 2022 DoDEA Teacher of the Year term runs through Dec. 2022.

A complete listing of this year's recipients is listed below. Additional information about DoDEA's Teacher of the Year Program, including point of contact, may be found on our website.

DoDEA 2023 District Teachers of the Year Recipients

Region District 2023 TOY School Position
Americas Mid-Atlantic Ms. Jennifer Lubba Gordon ES 3rd/ Math Intervention
Southeast Dr. Laura Alvarez Ft. Knox MHS AP Language/ ELA /Drama
Europe East Ms. Oona Delaney Landstuhl ES 2nd grade
South Mr. Timothy Ramey Vicenza MS 6th grade Math/Science
West Ms. Jennifer Mench Spangdahlem MS 6-8 Science/AVID
Pacific East Ms. Rachel Strader Sullivan ES 5th grade
South Dr. Cara Kaiser Lester MS 6th & 7th grade ELA
West Mr. Paul Cuaresma Guam HS 9-12 Physics

Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA)
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.