Department of Defense Education Activity

2020 Teacher of the Year

2020 TOY Antoine SharpeAntoine Sharpe
Pacific West District
2020 DoDEA Teacher of the Year
Humphreys MS, South Korea – Mathematics

“Be the change you want to see in the world” quoted from Gandhi, are the words that inspire Antoine Sharpe to lead his students by example, as he tries to instill confidence and a love for learning. Antoine believes students from all backgrounds can learn when provided appropriate challenges, instructional support, and encouragement. As a professional educator, he has taught disadvantaged students, military-connected students, mentored disadvantaged youth and created leadership opportunities for peers. His work ethic is infused with ‘teacher as learner’, filling the classroom with laughter and joy.

Currently, he is teaching seventh-grade math at Humphreys Middle School in South Korea for DoDEA. His previous teaching assignments have included: robotics, physical education, STEM, multi-age, science, band, home economics, elementary grade levels, and he was once a school bus driver. He plans lessons for student learning to be rigorous and enjoyable by bringing education to life through active participation. He strives to build authentic and individual relationships with each student; seeing them as individuals inside and outside of the classroom. Antoine can be frequently seen with students during lunch and cheering for them at their after-school events. Antoine is a National Board Certified Teacher. He is a mentor for youth, colleagues and future educators through formalized partnerships with NCAE and Big Brother. His goals are to increase minority representation for disadvantaged youth, serving as an amplifier for those too small to be heard. He works to develop all students to value their individual importance and their potential positive impact.

Antoine has his M.Ed. Degree-Executive Leadership/School Administration from Gardner-Webb University and a B.S. in Middle Grades (Math/Science) from East Carolina University. He is currently enrolled in the Doctoral program.

DoDEA Americas

2020 TOY Kari DahlKari Dahl
Mid-Atlantic District
2020 Teacher of the Year
Poole ES, Fort Bragg, NC – Gifted Resources

Kari Dahl is the gifted resource teacher at Poole Elementary School. Mrs. Dahl is currently in her 15th year of teaching, and this is her 8th year with DoDEA. In her 15 years of teaching, Mrs. Dahl worked as an elementary school gifted teacher, staff development teacher, middle school gifted education teacher, middle school AVID teacher, and 7th grade ELA teacher. She also is very proud of her work as the advisor of the Poole Ambassadors, National Junior Honor Society, and Student Government Association.

Mrs. Dahl received a Bachelor of Science in Education from Baldwin-Wallace College and a Master of Arts in Education {Reading) from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Mrs. Dahl continued her education by earning certificates in Gifted Education (K-12) and AVID (MS/SS).

Mrs. Dahl believes that all children can succeed. As teachers, our responsibility is to provide our students with the tools to achieve this success. Mrs. Dahl takes that responsibility very seriously, and she works diligently to provide a positive, supportive, and challenging learning environment.

Mrs. Dahl is married and has three children. She is originally from Ohio, but she has called North Carolina home for the past 15 years.

2020 TOY Alysia DurhamAlysia Durham
Southeast District
2020 Teacher of the Year
Fort Campbell HS, Kentucky – Mathematics

Dr. Alysia Durham began her career in education as a middle school math teacher at P.A.S.S. Academy, an alternative school in Dothan, AL. Due to her husband's occupation as a pilot in the United States Army, she has moved several times since the beginning of her career in 2007. She is currently completing her twelfth year of teaching, at Fort Campbell High School in Fort Campbell, KY.

Alysia has taught several classes over the span of her career as a math teacher to include seventh grade math, eighth grade math, Algebra I, Algebra I Lab, Algebra II, Algebraic Modeling, Geometry, Geometry Lab, Advanced Quantitative Reasoning, and Financial Literacy. Additionally, during a one-year PCS to Fort Leavenworth, Alysia worked as a mathematics intervention specialist K-9.

In addition to teaching mathematics at Fort Campbell High School, Alysia has been a member of the Professional Learning Community, Continuous School Improvement, Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics, and Advancement via Individual Determination teams. Her leadership positions include Mathematics department chair and CSI chair. As the CSI chair Alysia provided several professional development activities that focused on school improvement, goal setting and data analysis. She also coached the Lady Falcon Soccer team and sponsored the S2S club for two years.

She holds a bachelor's degree in Secondary Mathematics 7-12 from Buffalo State University, a Master of Business Administration from Troy University, an Educational Specialist Degree in Administration from Austin Peay State University, and has an Educational Doctorate degree in School Reform enrolled from Union University.

DoDEA Europe

2020 TOY Dawn MacFarlandDawn MacFarland
Europe East District
2020 Teacher of the Year
Stuttgart HS, Germany – Language Arts & Humanities

Dawn MacFarland has 19 years of service to military-connected students and families. She has taught at London Central HS, WT Sampson M/HS, Hanau MS, Hanau HS, Alexander M. Patch HS, and Stuttgart HS. Ms. MacFarland teaches Language Arts and Humanities; she maintains her commitment to DoDEA’s mission to educate, engage, and empower all students by creating opportunities for her learners to have a challenging, creative, and diverse student-centered curriculum. Her lifelong commitment is dedicated to educating the whole child—mind and heart.

Ms. MacFarland’s devotion to ‘whole child’ education began in her first year of teaching in Tucson, AZ at Howenstine Magnet HS, a school dedicated to full inclusion of all students with and without disabilities. This unique beginning to her career cultivated a mindset that looks beyond typical markers of success, and dives deeper into areas of long-term student development and growth. Her entire concept of teaching revolves around the idea that in education, as in life, leaders need to build relationships, and create climates of security, in order to get the best out of the communities they serve.

Ms. MacFarland advocates for the whole child and relationship-building approach to education and school community. This year at Stuttgart High School, she organized and implemented a program called the social-emotional learning (SEL) matrix for colleagues and administrators to access essential SEL information related to the 800+ military-connected students SHS serves. In addition, she is responsible for reshaping SHS’s detention program to include an SEL-driven approach to discipline.

2020 TOY Patricia CrowPatricia Crow
Europe West District
2020 Teacher of the Year
Lakenheath ES, United Kingdom – Literature

14 years ago Ms. Crow embarked upon a profession where she learned firsthand, the value of collaboration with mentor teachers, the importance of joining PD enrichment, and how taking on leadership roles within the school strengthens one’s ability to perform in their own classroom.

Her initial experiences fundamentally shaped her as an educator as the emphasis placed on developmentally appropriate practices, such as small group instruction, guided reading, and writer’s workshop are the best practices she continues to refine daily.

Ms. Crow values her experiences in working as the current teacher leader for literacy at Lakenheath Elementary. Recently, as the team lead, she led the 2nd grade during the DoDEA implementation of CCRS Math and Science. She understands school-wide issues and has worked to create and co-lead the implementation of PBIS across a school of 600+ students. She works seamlessly between administration and teaching staff; constantly considering multiple points of view and ensuring student achievement and well-being are at the focus of decisions. She has fostered mentorship opportunities that have included mentoring beginning teachers, hosting practicum & clinical student teachers, as well as, hosting a Model Classroom for beginning and seasoned teacher peer-observations.

As a former DoDEA student she always dreamed of returning to DoDEA as a teacher. She continues to be a life-long learner, earning her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction in 2017. Ms. Crow dreams of someday teaching at the University level in hopes she can continue to positively impact students through her own passion for learning.

2020 TOY Stacy KnappeStacy Knappe
South District
2020 Teacher of the Year
Vicenza HS, Italy – English

Stacy is a passionate educator dedicated to creating a dynamic and stimulating learning environment. She strives to promote the love of literature and language through inquiry-based and discussion-based learning, and higher-order thinking. She also believes when social-emotional learning is taught in conjunction with the standards, it maximizes student potential for deep cognitive connections and transferable life skills. She strives to blend rigorous academic learning with student character and well-being education. Guided by brain research, she is focused on threading mindfulness, movement, and growth mindset into her instruction. Stacy is an advocate for the profession and enjoys leading, motivating, and developing growth in others.

Stacy teaches AP Literature, English 12 and drama at Vicenza High School in Vicenza, Italy. She has 17 years of experience in education, ten of which have been with DoDEA. Prior to her work in Vicenza, she taught in Washington State, Maine, and at Heidelberg International School in Germany. While in DoDEA, Stacy worked in AFNORTH, Rota MS, and Menwith Hill School.

Stacy received her undergraduate degrees in English and Education from the University of Maine in 1996. In 2011, she received her Master of Education in Globalization and Educational Change with a certificate in International Counseling from Lehigh University. Currently, she is completing her Gifted Education certification and will begin a yearlong program with Mindful Schools to become a K-12 Certified Mindfulness Instructor in June. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she serves as a Teacher Leader, Literacy Leader, drama club sponsor, and cross country coach.

DoDEA Pacific

2020 TOY Rachel BakerRachel Baker
Pacific East District
2020 Teacher of the Year
Ikego ES, Japan – Mathematics

Rachel Baker received her Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Phoenix in 2011. Prior to this achievement, she earned her B.S. in Elementary Education from Texas A&M University in 2008. She is currently teaching fifth grade at Ikego Elementary School, DoDEA Pacific East. Rachel is also a certified reading specialist, math specialist, and holds an ESL endorsement.

Rachel is an advocate for ensuring students receive classroom instruction that is meaningful, engaging, and transferable to the real world. She ensures her students are involved in project based learning (PBL) lessons which are differentiated for student needs and creates technology-_ infused lessons embedded with collaboration between peers that mirror real-world scenarios. Building meaningful relationships with students, inspiring students to take chances and learn from failures, and igniting students' passion for learning through engaging lesson are her keys to ensure student success.

She has been a member of the School Leadership Team for three years, Continuous School Improvement (CSI) Chair for three years, and serves as the fifth-grade team lead. She is a dedicated teacher leader and mentor. She created a school-wide data tracker aligned to local and system assessments and standard operating procedures manual for the school. Additionally, Rachel has provided professional development on Professional Learning Community (PLC), strategies for problem-solving, and reciprocal teaching. She also runs an after-school math club to help struggling students.

2020 TOY Dr. Tracy RiceDr. Tracy Rice
Pacific South District
2020 Teacher of the Year
Kadena ES, Japan – English

Dr. Tracy Rice is an ESOL, English for Speakers of Other Languages, specialist at Kadena Elementary School where she has taught for the past 12 years.

Fostering and nurturing strong relationships with all stakeholders to meet the needs of all students is an integral part of Dr. Rice’s philosophy as an educator; it takes a village.

Pacific Region Director- Lois Rapp said, “Dr. Rice is a tireless teacher with an exemplary work ethic who leads by example. Dr. Rice models best practices in teacher leadership as well as instruction through hard work, dedication, and attention to detail. In simple terms, her engaging style makes learning fun for her students.”

Pacific South District Superintendent- Mike Thompson said, “She spends countless hours preparing and working with her students, families and colleagues not only in relation to her classes, but with respect to the school and community as well. She is committed to excellence in education.”

Kadena Elementary School Principal- Gail Wiley commented, “Her extremely positive, supportive, caring, dedication for all students and members of the Kadena Elementary School community are reflected in everything she does. She is a wealth of knowledge, energy and creativity.”

Colleague- Sally Horn said, “She has a wonderful rapport with the faculty and students at Kadena Elementary. She is extraordinarily talented connecting with her students, parents, and faculty, and has an ability to educate in a creative and engaging fashion.”

Arturo Garcia, military-connected parent said, “She gives the children the most precious gift of all, her time.”