Department of Defense Education Activity

2022 Teacher of the Year

2022 Teacher of the Year Ms. Rachel Guilfoyle
Pacific West District
2022 Teacher of the Year
Daegu Elementary School, South Korea
5th Grade Teacher

Ms. Guilfoyle is a 5th grade teacher and teacher leader at Daegu Elementary School. She currently serves as co-chair of the school’s SQF Team, Fifth Grade Level Chair, and is a member of the Advanced Education/Gifted Committee. She has taught in DoDEA for 12 years in South Korea.

Ms. Guilfoyle understands the needs of our military-connected students, as she has been a military child, a surviving military spouse, a Gold star family member, and the mother of DoDEA students. Prior to joining DoDEA, she served as the Executive Assistant for the Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) and facilitated the opening of the HAA’s art integrated community learning space. Ms. Guilfoyle believes that learning can occur anytime and anywhere and encourages her students to embrace this belief.

Ms. Guilfoyle has a Bachelor’s in Education from Macon State College, a Master’s in Literacy Education from Walden University, and is currently working on her Bachelor’s in Library Sciences from the University of Arizona. Read More...

DoDEA Americas

TOY Antilles HSDr. Maria Sanjurjo
Americas Mid-Atlantic District 
2022 District Teacher of the Year
Antilles High School, Puerto Rico
11th and 12th Grade Math Teacher

Dr. Maria T. Sanjurjo has always felt a strong passion for teaching. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics Education at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), and at the end of her bachelor’s degree, she started working as a research assistant. Her first teaching assignment was at Baldwin School, teaching Pre-Calculus and Calculus. The learning experience was extraordinary though she felt the need to go back to her Alma Mater, UPR, and pursue graduate studies in Pure Mathematics. Simultaneously, she worked as an Assistant Professor teaching Pre-Calculus to undergraduate students. She saw the struggle of so many students in making connections and the hopeless feeling of what they felt like a “meaningless handling of symbols.”

Encouraged by a strong desire to find ways to make Mathematics more meaningful and exciting, she started to take more education courses and integrate technology to provide a deeper understanding of Mathematics. Her thesis provided an instructional unit of curricular activities for the study of Functions using computers. In 2001, she started working at Antilles High School, where she noticed the need for a more meaningful approach to study something as powerful as Functions, which can model many real-life phenomena. Therefore, she continued her studies as a doctoral student in the same university. Her dissertation studied the effect of using multiple representations provided by technological environments in the comprehension of Exponential Functions. Equipped with knowledge and experience, she always tries to provide meaningful Mathematics to her students.

TOY Fort Campbell HSMs. Erin Crossan
Americas Southeast District
2022 District Teacher of the Year
Fort Campbell High School, Kentucky
9th and 10th Grade ELA Teacher

Ms. Erin Crossan began her professional life in 1991 as an aircraft mechanic in the USAF, maintaining and repairing F-16s. In her twelve years, she held positions and responsibilities crucial to both the safety of her subordinates and essential to the mission. These included supervising and evaluating airmen, running flight-line operations, and supervising phase dock inspections. In 2002, Erin Crossan left active duty to become an AF Reservist. In this capacity, she served as a mobility specialist ensuring the fighter squadron was 100% mobility ready and included maintaining updated vaccinations, coordinating transportation and logistical strategies with military organizations worldwide.

After moving to Utah (2008), Erin transferred from serving the military to serving the community as an assistant teacher at Evergreen Montessori. This experience sparked a passion for education, and she spent the next four years pursuing a MAT. Once licensed in 2016, Ms. Crossan accepted a position as a long-term aide serving all 6th and 7th grade SPED students at AMHS. Erin also volunteered as the northwest region’s Girl Scouts of America chairperson during this time. In 2017, Ms. Crossan accepted an ELA teaching position at Fort Campbell High School, where she has taught 9th/10th ELA, 9th/10th World Literature Honors, and AP Seminar and Research. She has also worked as the school’s site literary leader, CSI member and chairperson, freshman sponsor, data team member, and Core Committee chairperson. At FCHS, she was also nominated for the 2019-2020 DoDEA Educator of Promise award.

DoDEA Europe

TOY Ramstein IS

Ms. Elisabeth Shuba
Europe East District
2022 District Teacher of the Year
Ramstein Intermediate School, Germany
3rd-5th Grade ESOL Teacher

Elisabeth Shuba, M.Ed., has taught for the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) for 12 of her 22 years in education. She currently serves as the ESOL teacher at Ramstein Intermediate School on Ramstein Air Base, Germany. In addition to teaching ESOL, Elisabeth serves as the district ESOL PLC facilitator and provides professional learning to other ESOL teachers in collaboration with the district office. While assigned to Mannheim, Germany, she taught Kindergarten, ESOL, and Preschool Services for Students with Disabilities.

Before joining DoDEA, Elisabeth taught in Fairfax County, VA, and Poudre School District, Fort Collins, CO. Her classroom experiences included Inclusive Head Start and creating a new Dual Language Two-way Immersion Spanish/English program. After completing a BA in International Relations from Roanoke College, Elisabeth worked in International Educational Development for several years before pursuing a master’s degree with licensure in education. She joined the third UTEEM cohort at George Mason University to earn an M. Ed in Curriculum and Instruction. She holds teaching certifications including Preschool Services for Students with Disabilities, Elementary Education PK-3, ESOL K-12, and Spanish in Elementary School. UTEEM’s focus on teacher collaboration and working with diverse learners has been the driving force behind Elisabeth’s educational practice and pedagogy. Collaboration and co-teaching can provide all students with access to differentiated learning opportunities. Inclusion, access, and equity through collaboration and co-teaching continue to be at the core of her educational work in the classrooms she supports.

TOY Sevilla EMS

Ms. Cheryl Williams
Europe South District
2022 District Teacher of the Year
Sevilla Elementary-Middle School, Spain
K-8th Grade SPED/AAPS/ESOL/Art Teacher

Cheryl Williams is an energetic teacher at Sevilla Elementary Middle School on Moron Air Base, Moron de la Frontera, Spain, for the last six years. She often refers to herself as the small group specialist, since she is the special education resource teacher, the English Students of Other Languages teacher, the Advanced Academic Program Services resource teacher, and Art Enrichment teacher. She has taken on numerous leadership roles such as the Focus Collaboration leader, CSI Chair, Site Literacy Leader, and more.

Before coming to Sevilla EMS, Ms. Williams was the Gifted Teacher at Jack N. Darby Elementary School in Sasebo, Japan, for five years. There she taught a STEM class and an Art Enrichment Program. She believes all students have talents, and we must find ways for them to show them. Ms. Williams started a variety of after school programs for students to share their talents, like Ceramics Club, Drama Club, Odyssey of the Mind, and Live Action Role Play (LARPing). At Jack N. Darby ES, Ms. Williams was the CSI chair for the school for several years, learning how to develop a culture focused on student-driven success.

Ms. Williams spent seven years teaching in Las Vegas before joining DoDEA. She taught first grade and special education at Title 1 schools. She also was a site based Special Education coordinator. She holds a Master's degree in Education with a TESOL certification and a Master's degree in Special Education with a secondary certification in Gifted Education.

TOY Alconbury MS

Ms. Jessica Mitchell
Europe West District
2022 District Teacher of the Year
Alconbury Middle High School, United Kingdom
6th-12th Grade Art Teacher

Jessica Mitchell is passionate about facilitating a human-centered education. Her educational philosophy is to cultivate positive relationships and authentic connections with her students before they engage in the rigorous discovery to become Artistically Literate. After graduating from Northern Arizona University in 2006, Jessica started her Visual Arts teaching career at Millennium High School in Goodyear, Arizona, before taking the Alconbury Middle School position on RAF Alconbury, England, to teach 6-I2th grade art in 2008. The Military-Connected community she immersed in gave her an appreciation for how her students and their families exercise resilience. It reinforced the importance of· establishing a positive and engaging classroom culture for student learning.

Ms. Mitchell's passion for teaching art is not just for the successful works of art to hang on the wall but ultimately the journey each student takes as they actively engage in the artistic process. Amid that process, the student experiences the most growth, and it is where they are confronted by obstacles not only in the art techniques but the ones they place in front of themselves. The student is empowered to decide the course of their success, giving them agency in their learning.

Beyond the art room, Ms. Mitchell has taken an active role in extracurricular areas of leadership such as Creative Connections, the High School Student Council, Random Acts of Kindness, Art Club sponsor, Instructional Leadership Team, and is the School News Liaison.


DoDEA Pacific

TOY Edgren MHSDr. Pamela Tucker
Pacific East District
2022 District Teacher of the Year
Edgren Middle High School, Japan
7th-8th and 11th-12th ELA Teacher

Dr. Pamela Tucker is a multi-talented instructional leader who advocates for the total school program. Assigned to Robert D. Edgren Middle High School, Dr. Tucker is the English Language Arts Department Chair, Literacy Leader, Student Council Advisor, Pacific Student Transition Coordinator, and the 21st Century Innovative Teacher Leader. Dr. Tucker collaborates with the Project-based learning (PBL) teams and facilitates training in the latter role. In using literacy to connect all disciplines, Dr. Tucker shares instructional practices that improve teacher and student performance.

Passionate about students, Dr. Tucker is committed to fostering an environment of 100% acceptance and seeks opportunities to strengthen campus, community, and cultural relationships. While deployed with the Civilian Expeditionary Workforce (CEW), she served as the NATO Education Division Training Chief, responsible for providing professional development to Afghan English as a Foreign Language (EFL) specialists. During subsequent deployments, she served as the country's ten English Language Training Centers director. Recognized for implementing the first English Language Training Center for Afghan women, Dr. Tucker earned the Meritorious Civilian Service and Superior Civilian Service Awards. A decorated Army Reservist, she has endured multiple deployments.

Currently working toward a doctorate in Learning, Instruction, and Innovation at Walden University, Dr. Tucker is a lifelong learner who earned her undergraduate and master's degrees from Alabama State University. In addition, Dr. Tucker has earned postgraduate certifications and degrees from Auburn and Argosy Universities. Tucker is the Novice Academy founder, offering professional development in collaboration, communication, culturally responsive pedagogy, and technology to teachers with less than five years' experience.

TOY Amelia Earhart ISMs. Christina Scarborough
Pacific South District
2022 District Teacher of the Year
Amelia Earhart Intermediate School, Japan
Math Teacher/3rd Grade Teacher

Christina Scarborough is a twenty-four-year DoDEA educator who believes all children can learn when provided a safe, supportive, and engaging environment. Ms. Scarborough's DoDEA career began at Kadena Elementary School (1997-2002) as a Japanese Immersion teacher (2nd, 5th) before moving to Stearley Heights Elementary School (2002-2008), where she taught 4th grade and 4th-5th multi-age. She transferred to Amelia Earhart Intermediate School (2008) to teach 3rd grade and became the math support specialist in 2014.

Ms. Scarborough holds a master's degree from Michigan State University (2000) and a bachelor's degree from Northern Illinois University (1993). She has held various leadership roles, including Leadership Team Chair, Mentor Teacher, and Teacher Leader. She initiated a school-wide data tracking resource, which was recognized as a powerful practice by her district's Internal Review Team.

In addition to working collaboratively with colleagues to develop common district assessments and ways to strengthen student's math understanding, Ms. Scarborough engages parents in developing an understanding of the mathematical instructional shifts. Ms. Scarborough continues teaching outside the school day by sponsoring the Firebird Drummers, a taiko drumming club.

As an educator and club sponsor, Ms. Scarborough cultivates self-confidence and leadership skills in and out of the classroom while promoting DoDEA's mission of educating, engaging, and empowering military-connected students so that they may succeed in a dynamic world.