On May 24, I attended a recognition ceremony for Albemarle County Public Schools’ latest Virginia Lottery Super Teachers Award winner, Analisa Herring, 4th grade teacher at Brownsville Elementary. Analisa represents the best of what educators across our county offer to our young people. In chatting with a representative of the Lottery Program, she said, “It’s obvious that something special is going on in Albemarle to have three teachers recognized in the last three years when only eight teachers are recognized each year in Virginia for this award.” I couldn’t agree more. I only wish that we could recognize all the Super Teachers who come to work each day and involve our young people in fabulous learning experiences. I am fortunate to see our quality teachers at work in every school. As superintendent, I am thankful that our children, from the youngest in our pre-school classes to our soon-to-be 2010 graduates, are in such good hands.
Elizabeth Saunders, the parent who nominated Analisa Herring is allowing me to share her nomination letter, one of over a thousand sent to the Virginia Lottery Super Teachers Award Program. Her letter follows:
Committed…Caring…Inspiring…Diligent…Motivating…Passionate…Kind…Dedicated… These are all words that I would use to describe Analisa Herring, my son’s fourth grade teacher at Brownsville Elementary. Mrs. Herring is an amazing teacher who tirelessly goes above and beyond the call of duty to see that her students get the very best education possible. Her desire to see her students succeed is an inspiration to our entire family.
Mrs. Herring has a true passion for teaching. Her ability to engage her students in a fun and creative class environment is phenomenal. Students are excited about what they are learning when she is teaching. She draws their attention by inventing creative ways of learning. One example of this was our Virginia Regions Project. Each child was involved in producing a commercial, which was filmed by Mrs. Herring, to advertise their particular region of Virginia. The children thought of creative ways to convey their region’s facts. Some danced, some sang, but all were imaginative in expressing ways to encourage television watchers to come to visit their region of Virginia. This was a wonderful way to enhance a geography lesson!
Early in the school year, Mrs. Herring organized a Math Parent Workshop. The purpose of this workshop was to help the parents of her students better understand the current methods of math being taught in class so that we could, in turn, reiterate these methods at home with homework. This helped our son to solidify his confidence and ability to excel in math class. He tends to be a little anxious about learning new material, and Mrs. Herring has oftentimes sent home hand-written sheets of rules, instructions, and examples that have been invaluable to us as parents in assisting our son with his homework.
Mrs. Herring makes herself very available to both students and parents. She offers her time in and outside of the classroom, especially if extra help is needed. She often responds to my emails between the hours of five and six o’clock in the morning, so I know she starts her day very early!
Mrs. Herring is very involved in other areas outside of teaching in the classroom. She is currently working on her Master’s Degree in Math Education, which requires weekly classes and extra studies. She is also a Team Manager for Destination Imagination at Brownsville and is very involved in the production of our school yearbook. Her commitments extend beyond her classroom into our community. Mrs. Herring manages all of this with an ease and a calmness that I admire, while staying true to her own children and family.
Analisa Herring is incredibly deserving of the Super Teacher Award because she is, indeed, super. It is with great pleasure that I nominate her for your very special honor.