PRESS RELEASE – September 11, 2017
Fluvanna County Public Schools is pleased to announce Mr. Russell Jennings has been named the 2018 Region V Teacher of the Year. The Regional Teachers of the Year were selected from among candidates nominated by school divisions in each of the state’s eight superintendent’s regions. The candidates submitted portfolios highlighting their accomplishments, education philosophies and community activities.
A panel, including classroom teachers, representatives of professional and educational associations, the business community and 2017 Virginia Teacher of the Year Toney McNair Jr. of Indian River Middle in Chesapeake reviewed the portfolios and selected the eight regional teachers of the year. Next week, the same panel will interview each of the eight regional teachers to select the 2018 Virginia Teacher of the Year. The decision will be announced on September 18 during a ceremony at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond.
Mr. Chuck Winkler, Superintendent, remarked, “I am very proud of Mr. Jennings for this well-deserved award. His daily actions in the classroom truly define what it means to be an educator. His work ethic and willingness to be creative within the agriculture classroom provides our students with the opportunity to be part of something special.“
When Fluvanna reinstated 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 find their niche.”
Mr. Jennings is a native of Hillsville, Virginia, where he graduated from Carroll County High School. He earned his Associate’s degree from New River Community College. His Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Education is from Virginia Polytechnic and State University. He has seventeen years of teaching experience. He has been in Fluvanna for four years and previously taught Agriculture at Louisa County High School. He is active in a number of organizations including: Virginia Association of Agriculture Educators, Future Farmers of America, 4th degree Free Mason, and 3rd degree Knight of Columbus. He is the owner of Jennings Christmas Tree Lot.
He is married to Ann Jennings who is an English Teacher at Fluvanna County High School. The couple resides at Lake Monticello.
Mr. Jennings will be recognized by the School Board at its September 13th meeting. This is the seventh year that Fluvanna County Public Schools has recognized “Teachers of the Year” and the first time a Fluvanna teacher has been selected as the Region V winner.
The 2018 Virginia Teacher of the Year will be the commonwealth’s nominee in the National Teacher of the Year Program. The recognition is given by the Council of Chief State School Officers, in partnership with Voya Financial. Two previous Virginia teachers — B. Philip Bigler, the 1998 Virginia Teacher of the Year, and Mary V. Bicouvaris, the 1989 Virginia Teacher of the Year — went on to be named as a National Teacher of the Year.
For more information regarding the Regional Teacher of the Year winners go to: http://www.pen.k12.va.us/news/news_releases/2017/09_sep11.shtml