Department of Defense Education Activity

2021 Teacher of the Year

2021 Teacher of the Year Lachanda Garrison
Europe South District
2021 Teacher of the Year
Bahrain Elementary School, Bahrain
2nd Grade Teacher

Ms. Garrison teaches 2nd grade at Bahrain Elementary School in Manama, Bahrain. She has 13 years of experience teaching with DoDEA, including 1st and 3rd grades, multi-age grades, and as an instructional coach in elementary mathematics and literacy.

Passionate about partnering with fellow educators and other community stakeholders, Ms. Garrison says her goal is to embolden her students along their academic journey. She is an active participant in a number of professional learning communities and other learning platforms within and outside of DoDEA. She enjoys facilitating and providing learning experiences at the school, district, and national levels.

Ms. Garrison has an Associate of Arts in Computer Studies, Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Management, Master of Education in Instructional Technology, and Master of Arts in Mathematics Teaching. Read More...

DoDEA Americas

Victoria RussVictoria Russ
Mid-Atlantic District 
2021 Teacher of the Year
Crossroads Elementary School, Quantico, Virginia 
3rd Grade Teacher

Ms. Russ began her career as a music educator and vocal performer in Florida. She also taught music in Illinois, Maryland, and South Carolina. Ms. Russ started working for DoDEA in 2015 as an elementary music teacher at Crossroads Elementary School. Ms. Russ earned an Associate of Arts at Santa Fe Community College, a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Florida, and a Masters of Education in Teaching and Learning from Liberty University. She completed her postgraduate studies at the University of San Diego. She continues her education by pursuing her gifted education certification. Read More....

Trinna FreemanTrinna Freeman
Americas Southeast District
2021 Teacher of the Year
Faith Middle School, Fort Benning, Georgia 
8th Grade Science Teacher

Ms. Freeman has served as a professional developer on her school's continuous school improvement (CSI) team and eighth-grade team leader for more than four years. Additionally, Ms. Freeman was a cheerleading coach, AVID site team coordinator and Black history program coordinator. Beyond the walls of Faith Middle School, Ms. Freeman virtually teaches English to overseas students. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Middle Grades Education from the University of West Georgia, and a master’s degree in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment from Walden University. She has worked for DoDEA for the past ten years. Read More...

DoDEA Europe

TOY Europe East Radley Ramirez

Radley Ramirez
Europe East District
2021 Teacher of the Year
Baumholder Middle High School, Germany 
Educational Technologist

Mr. Ramirez has served over a decade as a member of the School Improvement Leadership Team helping integrate the use of technology to support BMHS’ education goals. He likes to constantly research the upcoming needs of the business world and upcoming technology trends to ready students for the emerging 4th Industrial Revolution currently focusing on the change Artificial Intelligence is bringing and Agile Management (SCRUM). Read More...


Europe West TOY 2021


Caletha Ellis 
Europe West District
2021 Teacher of the Year
Lakenheath High School, United Kingdom
9th to 12th Grade Teacher in AP U.S. History, Psychology, Sociology, and U.S. History

Ms. Ellis began her DoDEA teaching career in 2002 at London Central High School as a dynamic social studies teacher and advocate for positive education. Her philosophy in education is grounded in relationship-building, and her overarching goal for students is to cultivate “actionable empathy” and create positive change for the future. Read More...

DoDEA Pacific

TOY ZamaMichael Pope 
Pacific East District
2021 Teacher of the Year
Zama American Middle High School, Japan 
7th Grade STEM Teacher

Mr. Pope has 23 years of teaching experience, 17 of which have been with DoDEA. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University, where he served on the dean’s board and worked with the education department. His master’s degree was earned from Brenau University. He also holds certifications in gifted education and Japanese studies from University of Maryland Asia Campus. Read more



TOY StearlingAngie Fino 
Pacific South District
2021 Teacher of the Year
Stearley Heights Elementary School, Japan 
Math Support Specialist

Ms. Fino holds a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of New Mexico-Albuquerque and a master’s degree in organizational management from University of Phoenix-Albuquerque. She has 23 years of teaching experience, 18 of which have been with DoDEA. Read more…  



Laird Sessions PAC W TOY 2021Laird Sessions 
Pacific West District
2021 Teacher of the Year
Daegu Elementary School, South Korea 
Advanced Academic Programs and Services Specialist

Mr. Sessions holds a bachelor’s degree in geography from Brigham Young University, a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Utah Valley University, and a master’s degree in education from Utah Valley University. He has 17 years of teaching experience and is in his sixth year of teaching with DoDEA. Read more