2017 Teachers of the Year honored in Chesapeake

CHESAPEAKE, Va. – Chesapeake Public Schools recently honored the 2017 Teachers of the Year during a ceremony at Indian River High School.

Forty-seven Chesapeake teachers were honored for being selected as their school’s Teacher of the Year. From that pool of teachers, the district also announced the Elementary Teacher of the Year, Middle School Teacher of the Year, High School Teacher of the Year and overall Chesapeake Teacher of the Year.

Click here to see a full list of the 47 Chesapeake Teachers of the Year

The Elementary Teacher of the Year is Kristin Garman from G.W. Carver Intermediate School.

Kristin Garman, a fourth-grade special education teacher, received her bachelor’s degree from Liberty University and her master’s degree from Regent University.  She was selected as Reading Teacher of the Year in 2011 for Southwestern Elementary School and for G.W. Carver Intermediate School in 2016.  Currently she serves as special education grade chair and a beginning teacher mentor.  Kristin is a member of the International Literacy Association and Virginia State Reading Association, and is President-Elect of the Chesapeake Reading Council.  Kristin enjoys volunteering with the ziMS Foundation, working with the Horizons program, and watching the NY Mets play baseball.  She resides in Chesapeake with her pink garden flamingo named Audrey.  Ms. Garman has nine years of teaching experience, all of which have been in Chesapeake.

The Middle School Teacher of the Year is Jessica Austin from Oscar F. Smith Middle School.

Jessica Austin, a middle school Algebra I teacher, received her bachelor’s degree from Barton College in North Carolina and her master’s degree from The George Washington University.  She was the recipient of a School Bell Award in 2005, was named Northside Middle School Teacher of the Year in 2007, and became a National Board Certified Teacher in 2013.  Currently Jessica participates in Intramural sports, is a member of the Principals Advisory Committee and the PTA, and serves as the mathematics department chairperson, PBIS coach, and a cooperating teacher.  Jessica is a member of the AVID site team and the Parental Involvement Committee at Oscar Smith Middle. She enjoys running in races, reading, and watching her children play sports.  She resides in Chesapeake with her husband, Michael, and her three boys, Jonathan, Hunter, and Kaden.  Mrs. Austin has 14 years of teaching experience, nine of which have been in Chesapeake.

The High School Teacher of the Year is Alicia White from Grassfield High School.

Alicia White, a high school mathematics teacher, received her bachelor’s degree from Juniata College in Pennsylvania, her master’s degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and her educational specialist degree from Old Dominion University.  She has coached both varsity soccer and field hockey, was chosen as the PTSA Volunteer of the Year in 2015, and was awarded a Chesapeake Educational Foundation grant to use for her Flipped Classroom curriculum.  Currently Alicia is the student activities director, student council association sponsor, and United Way coordinator for Grassfield High School.  She serves as the Grassfield 10-year committee chair and a freshman seminar mentor.  She is a member of the Grassfield Planning Council, the Virginia State Advisory Board, and both the state and national Student Council Advisors Associations.  Alicia enjoys giving back to the community through charity work for CHKD and the Lymphoma Research Foundation, spending time with her family, and playing soccer.  She resides in Virginia Beach with her husband, Jay, and daughter, Lincoln.  Mrs. White has 10 years of teaching experience, all of which have been in Chesapeake.

The 2017 Chesapeake Teacher of the Year is Jahkari Taylor from Oscar F. Smith High School.

Jahkari “J.T.” Taylor, a special education teacher, received his bachelor’s degree from Norfolk State University, his master’s degree from Liberty University, and a second master’s degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.  He has served as an expert panelist on the Chesapeake Public Schools New Beginning Teacher Panel for the last seven consecutive years, was a recipient of the Iota Phi Lamba Emerald Educator Award, and authored “Overcoming Burnout: Daily Devotionals to Inspire Teachers.” Currently Jahkari is the sponsor and founder of REEL Mentors Inc. (a mentorship program aimed to help young men develop in the areas of character, academics, and leadership), a member of the CEA, and the Senior Pastor of the Focus Church in Suffolk.  He is CEO of Purpose Pushers LLC., a company that provides in-service trainings and seminars to help professionals find purpose in their careers.  Jahkari enjoys spending quality time with his family, reading, and engaging in community service projects with his church.  He resides in Suffolk with his wife, Shalise, and their four children.  Mr. Taylor has 10 years of teaching experience, all of which have been in Chesapeake.