PRESS RELEASE – May 5, 2017

On Friday, May 5, Mr. Chuck Winkler, Superintendent visited each school site to recognize Teacher and Staff Member of the Year as nominated by staff in each school.

West Central Primary
Teacher of the Year- Robin McKay, Special Education Lead Teacher, Kindergarten
Ms. McKay has worked with Fluvanna County Public Schools since 2009. She is described as being diligent in her duties and demonstrating a deep caring for her students. She is knowledgeable in her field and has a variety of ways to make children “thirsty” for knowledge. Her targeted instruction with students helps them to meet their learning goals and achieve in the classroom. In addition to her commitment in the classroom, Ms. McKay is always willing to share his expertise with her colleagues and regularly volunteers to provide professional development sessions.
Staff Member of the Year- Mary Rigney, Kindergarten Instructional Assistant
Ms. Rigney has been employed as an instructional assistant for 5 years. She has a true understanding of how important her role is in the classroom. She innately understands how to tier activities and pacing to fit the needs of the students. She is always willing to help anyone, at any time and has a wonderful sense of humor.

Central Elementary School
Teacher of the Year- Denise Avant, Second Grade Teacher
Ms. Avant came to Fluvanna County Public Schools in 2005. She demonstrates a tireless dedication to her students. She greets everyone with a smile and approaches every situation as a problem-solver. She is reflective in her practices and is a contributor in Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). Ms. Avant demonstrates “Star Qualities” through her interactions with others.
Staff Member of the Year- Wanda Morris, Bookkeeper/Secretary
Ms. Morris has been with Fluvanna County Public Schools since 1995 and is the epitome of dedicated, tireless, and is relentlessly committed to the students and staff. She is the “Fall Festival,” she works diligently to ensure that this event is successful. Her positive attitude and bubbly personality are infectious to both students and staff!

Carysbrook Elementary School
Teacher of the Year- Benita Jackson-Grooms, Fourth Grade Teacher
Ms. Jackson-Grooms came to Fluvanna as a teacher in 2001. She believes that all children can learn and encourages them to reach their full potential. She is always willing to seek out best practices to make all of her students successful. Ms. Jackson-Grooms’ colleagues find her to be an inspiration saying, “She will move mountains for her students and her co-workers.”
Staff Member of the Year- Jessica Farmer, Special Education Instructional Assistant
Ms. Farmer has been employed with Fluvanna County Public Schools since 2015. Ms. Farmer provides never ending positive support, a caring attitude, and is a nurturer to all students. She is always willing to assist with field trips and provide any additional support that the students and the classroom teacher may need. Ms. Farmer is always willing to learn and participate in professional development to strengthen her
skills in the classroom.

Fluvanna Middle School
Teacher of the Year- Marcus Carter, School Counselor
Mr. Carter is a native of Fluvanna County and has been employed with the division since 1993. In addition to his school counseling duties, Mr. Carter also serves as the school’s athletic director, coaches
football, and drives a bus. He works hard to juggle all of his responsibilities and takes on tasks to improve the school and the lives of our students. His counseling duties allow him to share his
experiences and develop lasting bonds with students. Mr. Carter performs many, many acts of kindness on behalf of the children of Fluvanna County.
Staff Member of the Year- Katie Cabrera, Instructional Assistant
Ms. Cabrera has worked with Fluvanna County Public Schools since 2011. She builds relationships with students outside of the school setting by chaperoning field trips and working at sporting events. She leads our students by example by being well-prepared, courteous to others, and always striving to do her very best. Ms. Cabrera helps to manage technology, reteach lessons, read to and mentor students.

Fluvanna County High School
Teacher of the Year- Russell Jennings, Agriculture Teacher
When Fluvanna brought back the agriculture program in 2013, Mr. Jennings was brought on board. He is always willing to help others and truly loves his job. He was instrumental in revitalizing the agriculture program. He brought back the Future Farmers of America (FFA) student organization and chaperones  trips to the National Convention. Mr. Jennings can frequently be found at the High School on nights and weekends, making apple butter, demonstrating the sauerkraut process, and conducting plant sales in the greenhouse. His colleagues say, “He has grown the program phenomenally and engaged students who otherwise may not fine their niche.”
Staff Member of the Year- Patricia Lane, Instructional Assistant
Ms. Lane has been employed with Fluvanna since 2005 and has shown to be patient, respectful, and works hard at helping students to make connections to their learning. Ms. Lane is currently taking classes to become a certified teacher. She shares her thoughts and ideas in a thoughtful manner and applies what she is learning to the classroom. Ms. Lane is always willing to take on many extra duties.

The Fluvanna County School Board will recognize all of these individuals at their May 10th meeting. At that time, the Division Teacher and Staff Members of the Year will also be announced.

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