Teacher of the Year
Anna Sansone is a 7th grade science teacher at Vicenza Middle School in Vicenza, Italy. A native of northern California and an enthusiast of all things related to science and the outdoors, she is also known to her students as the 21st Century Ms. Frizzle. Anna has twelve years’ teaching experience, eight of which have been with DoDEA. She began her career teaching English and science at a private school in Mexico, followed by three years teaching science in Chicago Public Schools. Prior to her present work in Vicenza, she also taught science and social studies and served as an Educational Technologist at EJ King High School in Sasebo, Japan and taught math and science at Incirlik Unit School in Incirlik, Turkey.
An undergraduate Environmental Science and Policy major at Clark University, Anna has an MAT from National Louis University in Secondary Science Teaching, an MS in Instructional Design and Technology from Walden University, and is pursuing a PhD in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology from Michigan State University. Her research interest is the intersection of technologically mediated communication and motivational factors in the classroom. Certified in science, math, social studies, Spanish, and as an Educational Technologist, she focuses on developing STEM literacy in diverse learning contexts. Her goal is to help students develop an identity as scientists and historians in her classroom through collaborative learning, real-world applications, and inquiry-based instruction. When she is not teaching, Anna enjoys traveling, gardening, and spending time with her husband and two daughters.
Americas Mid-Atlantic Teacher of the Year
Quantico MHS, Social Studies
Theresa Martin, a military spouse, mother to a DoDEA graduate, and a teacher for nineteen years arrived at her latest teaching assignment in Quantico, Virginia in 2013. She has a unique perspective and understanding for her students and parents, whom she serves because of her military background. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Master’s in Special Education. She currently teaches Advanced Placement American Government, Model United Nations, and Honors Global Studies. At Quantico she created a Model United Nations program, which is in its fourth year. She runs a successful MUN Club where students compete on the East Coast of the United States and have been recognized for excellence. She is a teacher mentor, National Honor Society sponsor, and senior sponsor. Before Quantico, her last teaching assignment was Vicenza High School.
In Vicenza, Italy she was CSI and Social Studies Department Chairperson, Model United Nations and Mock US Senate sponsor. The students recognized her efforts at Vicenza and submitted a video to CNN Student News, which was featured on Teacher Appreciation Week in 2012. Mrs. Martin’s determination and heart were the results of her first teaching assignment in a Title I school in Hoke County, North Carolina. This school had challenges and obstacles and a high teacher turnover rate. She worked there 10 years and in that time she became Social Studies Department Chairperson, Teacher Mentor, and helped establish additional Advanced Placement classes for students. While CSI Chairperson she was awarded a $300,000 Comprehensive School Reform grant.
Americas Southeast Teacher of the Year
Ikego ES, Mathematics
Intertwining passion with her career, Stephanie Marley dedicates her professional efforts to serving children. She has experience in multiple grade levels; having taught kindergarten through fourth grade, as well as a multi-age combination class. Her diverse grade-level experiences help her understand how children develop, how expectations span vertically through grade levels, and connect to her colleagues. Stephanie has also served as a model classroom teacher for literacy and helped train teachers in implementing the Guided Math program.
Working diligently to achieve her dream, she received an undergraduate degree from Columbus State University in Early Childhood Education. She went on to earn a Master’s degree in Elementary Reading and Mathematics, and an Educational Specialist’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Stephanie serves as the chair of her school’s Continuous School Improvement Team, and is the school’s coordinator for the Benchmark Assessment System. She was also a contributing member of a Technical Evaluation Board, helping evaluate curriculum materials for DoDEA schools around the world.
Mutual respect is Ms. Marley’s strongest belief; not only when working with children, but when interacting with people in general. In her classroom, Stephanie works to teach her students to be respectful by modeling the trait herself. Building respect, trust, and an authentic relationship with her students helps Stephanie hold high expectations for her students to help them achieve their full potential.
She works persistently supporting each child to become a life-long learner; always seeking the intangible gift of knowledge, which one cannot have taken from them.
Europe West Teacher of the Year
Spangdahlem ES, 5th Grade
Dreaming big and goal setting are the driving forces leading Colleen English to her fifth grade classroom in Spangdahlem, Germany each day. After walking into a DoDEA school in the spring of 2004, she knew this was the place she was meant to be, to change lives and make a difference.
Hired three days before the 2004-2005 school-year, Mrs. English jumped right into the classroom, with the help of an army of DoDEA veterans. After her first year with DoDEA, Mrs. English returned to the states. She returned to Germany in 2009 and was hired originally as a substitute, to kindergarten aide, to a half-time classroom teacher, and finally a full -time teacher. As a kindergarten aide, Mrs. English was Co Chair to the Continuous School Improvement (CSI) committee and helped Bitburg Elementary School (BES) through a successful Accreditation visit in 2011. Mrs. English worked as CSI chair for two additional years. She has continued as a Team Leader, through the transition to Spangdahlem Elementary School.
In the classroom, Mrs. English puts children first in all she does. She can often be found in her classroom long before the children arrive; working on unit plans and reviewing student data. Throughout the day and after school, she can be found collaborating with grade-level colleagues and staff members about student progress, lessons, and strategies for success in the classroom. Mrs. English knew that as a DoDEA teacher, she could impact and change the lives of many students.
Europe East Teacher of the Year
Wiesbaden HS, German
In thirty five years of teaching Ms. Rosewitha Timbrell has lead four high schools to increased enrollment, expanded interest in German, and founded German Honor Societies which provide student s with scholarship money. Gulf High School in New Port Richey, Florida and Northern Lehigh High School in Slatington, Pennsylvania were left with thriving German-American Partnership exchange programs. Within DoDEA, in the Virtual School as well as at Wiesbaden High School, the German programs have grown and AP scores are consistently above national as well as DoDEA averages. As Department Chair for World Languages, Ms. Timbrell has lead the WL teachers as leaders in collaboration.
Since beginning her teaching career In Florida, Ms. Timbrell has been involved in teacher training as an adjunct instructor with the University of South Florida, as a member of the Florida Certification Exam team, Oral Proficiency Interviewer, and was a member of the Articulation Team for high school to community college to university progression in Florida. She served as Technology Coordinator at Northern Lehigh High School, CSI co-c hair with both the DoDEA Virtual School and WHS and most recently serves as Literacy Coach at Wiesbaden High School.
Ms. Timbrell passionately believes that teaching is a talent which can be honed and must be constantly be refreshed. Professional development programs are the means by which teachers recharge themselves and Ms. Timbrell has worked to keep herself dynamic and motivating and to share that passion with colleagues in order to recharge and inspire them. Ms. Timbrell has a BA in German and English Literature, MA in German Education from the University of South Florida and is a Doctoral Candidate for German Literature at the University of Florida.
Pacific East Teacher of the Year
Yokota West ES, Special Education
Courtney Conover-Woodworth is a Special Education teacher at Yokota West Elementary School located at Yokota Air Force Base in Japan. She has 19 years of teaching experience with the last 9 of those in Japan, DoDEA.
Mrs. Woodworth received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of North Carolina- Greensboro and received a Special Education teaching certification through the Master’s Level Graduate Program at Norfolk State University. She received a Master of Arts Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Phoenix.
Mrs. Woodworth has taught in a variety of Special Education settings ranging from inclusion to self- contained. She enjoys celebrating the success of her students and always strives to encourage them to never give up despite the frustrations they face. Through positive role-modeling and relentless support, her students have shown progress in meeting their academic goals. She has been successful with teaching Social Thinking Skills to the students at her school. Through teaching social skills, the students have shown a decrease in negative behavior incidents while modeling the expected behaviors to become productive citizens.
As a Virginia Beach native, Courtney taught Middle School and Elementary School students for 10 years before moving to Pensacola, FL, and Yokosuka, Japan, to follow her husband’s military career. She is proud of her military heritage as the daughter of a United States Marine, wife of a Navy Chief and mother to a Yokota Middle School White Tiger.
Pacific West Teacher of the Year
Daegu ElementarySchool, Preschool-5th Grade Music
Emily Hatch believes that music is an instrument to educate students’ hearts and minds to engage an interconnected world. Emily’s elementary school students create, perform, and respond to music while they develop 21st century skills of communication, collaboration, and critical thinking.
Currently in her 11th year of teaching, Emily Hatch teaches preschool-5th grade music at Daegu Elementary School, a Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) school in South Korea. Emily is a teacher leader at the school, serving for the past three years as the Continuous School Improvement (CSI) Chair and Grade Level Chair for the specialist department. As the CSI chair, Emily successfully led the school through two accreditation cycles and was pivotal in developing and facilitating a clear purpose statement and reading goal for the school.
Emily is also a leader in the music field and an early adopter of the National Core Arts Standards (NCAS) which were released in 2014, serving on a national team of teachers who piloted Model Cornerstone Assessments for grades 2 and 5 over a period of two school years. She was also a member of the FEA/DoDEA Fine Arts Cohort, planning and facilitating professional development on the new standards for all DoDEA Fine Arts teachers. Emily reimagined her music curriculum to teach global education through the NCAS.
Emily Hatch is a lifelong learner and is a 2018 NEA Global Learning Fellow, studying global education with a cohort of teachers from across America.
Pacific South Teacher of the Year
Kadena MS, Social Studies & Science
Mrs. Megan Reyes is a highly dedicated, competent teacher that makes a difference for her students and school. She has high expectations for her students and herself, always paying attention to her students' needs. Mrs. Reyes is energetic and is genuinely interested in and respectful of young people. She has been teaching middle school social studies and science for DoDEA for over 16 years both at home and abroad. She uses best practices, to include 21st Century Teaching and Learning strategies. She uses enduring understandings, graphic organizers, AVID strategies, and other practices purposefully. Her instructional activities have incorporated rigor and have promoted student communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking.
Mrs. Reyes is an innovative teacher skilled at promoting active learning through multiple learning approaches and hands-on activities. Mrs. Reyes is an organized teacher up-to-date on the latest curriculum and resources. She implements new teaching methods when applicable, as well as educational software and Internet programs. Mrs. Reyes integrated technology for interactive activities and formative and summative assessments. She used her students' data to guide her classroom instruction and to meet her students' needs. Mrs. Reyes encourages students to engage in group work and to solve problems as a team. Mrs. Reyes is highly responsive to the unique developmental needs of middle school aged students. She is a progressive teacher who believes students should play an active role in their own learning process. Mrs. Reyes is a mindful middle school teacher accomplished in preparing students for the future.