Department of Defense Education Activity

DoDEA Announces 2017 Teacher of the Year

Kelisa Wing 2017 Teach of the Year

Faith Middle School 8th grade English Language Arts teacher  Kelisa Wing

ALEXANDRIA, VA — June 9, 2016 — Faith Middle School 8th grade English Language Arts teacher Kelisa Wing has been selected as the 2017 Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Teacher of the Year.

DoDEA ‘s Principal Deputy Director and Associate Director for Education, Dr. Linda Curtis, spoke to Wing’s extensive experience and understanding of all the components that contribute to a child’s education, especially those unique factors that affect military-connected school-age students.

“Ms. Wing truly represents what we all want in our educators, especially those who teach in DoDEA schools,” Dr. Curtis said. “She served in the military for 6 years and is a military spouse, and she can totally identify with our students, their lives, and the unique circumstances they experience – deployment of a parent; frequent moves; and many transitions. She has been a secretary, an educational aide, an administrative officer, and a substitute teacher and she has a deep understanding how critical school support and educational support employees are to schools and to student success. Ms. Wing can certainly identify with everyone in the school community – students, employees, teachers, and administrators. That empathy positively impacts her classroom every day and touches the lives of her students and her co-workers, said Dr. Curtis.

Dr. Curtis also commented on Ms. Wing’s educational philosophy which is critical to her success in the classroom.

“Ms. Wing’s educational philosophy is grounded in the belief that students who value themselves ultimately value education,” Dr. Curtis said. “She involves students, parents, and her peers in her lessons to connect with students on their level, incorporate their personalities and experiences in their writing, and use the skills they develop in her class to build on and connect with other classes they take. DoDEA is extremely fortunate to have her in the classroom,” Dr. Curtis added.

Ms. Wing earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English at the University of Maryland and went on to earn a degree as an educational specialist (Leadership, Curriculum and Instruction) from the University of Phoenix. She also received her Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from the University of Phoenix.

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. Fourteen teachers were named District Teacher of the Year for 2017. Each District Teacher of the Year is invited to apply for the DoDEA Teacher of the Year.

Along with the public recognition and the award, Ms. Wing will gain entry into the National Teacher of the Year application pool, and will be recognized by the President at a future event at The White House. Ms. Wing will also attend the National Teacher of the Year Conference in Arizona and participate in the Council of Chief of State School Officers (CCSSO) sponsored, Teacher of the Year events.

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 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.

2016-2017 TOYs




Denise Chargualaf


Guam High School

Chemistry Teacher

Ron Coia


Kubasaki High School

English and Social Studies Teacher

Randi Dalton


Liberty Intermediate School

Gifted Education Teacher

Richard Dysinger, Ed.D.


Ramstein Intermediate School

5th Grade Teacher

Nicole Hoff


Vicenza Elementary School

Art Teacher

Benjamin Kolodiej


Arne Elementary School

Gifted Teacher, K-6

Patricia McDonald, Ph.D.


Robinson Barracks Elementary School

Kindergarten Teacher

Lisa Reed

South Carolina/
Fort Stewart/Cuba

Pinckney Elementary School

4th Grade Teacher

Jessica Reagle

North Carolina -Camp Lejeune

Brewster Middle School

Special Education Grades 6-8 Teacher

Sonja Roberts


Van Voorhis Elementary School

Kindergarten Teacher

Kelly Sears

North Carolina - Fort Bragg

Hampton Primary School

Pre-Kindergarten Teacher

Tracey Van De Veire


Seoul American High School

Moderate/Severe Special Education Teacher

Carmen Veray

New York/ Virginia/Puerto Rico

Antilles Middle School

Special Education Teacher

Kelisa Wing


Faith Middle School

8th Grade Teacher