Northampton names school award nominees

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COURTESY PHOTO Kiptopeke Elementary School first-year teacher Noel Miller (holding the certificate) is one of more than a dozen nominees for a Northampton County Public Schools 2022-2023 teacher or employee of the year award. Standing with her are, from left, Principal Fred Eng, Human Resources Administrative Assistant Amber Johnson, and Superintendent Lisa Martin.

BY STEFANIE JACKSON, Eastern Shore Post —

Northampton County Public Schools has changed the way it nominates teachers and employees of the year to be more inclusive and recognize the achievements of a broader range of school staff.

The goal was to create “more opportunities to honor folks within the division and the great work that they’re doing,” said Superintendent Lisa Martin on April 27.

In addition to Teacher of the Year, a First Class Teacher of the Year award will be given to an outstanding first-year teacher.

The Teacher of the Year nominees for 2022-2023 are:

— Kiptopeke Elementary School, Susanne Spady

— Occohannock Elementary School, Susan Kellam

— Northampton Middle School, Rebecca Lusk

— Northampton High School, Cheryl Fenderson

The First Class Teacher of the Year nominees for 2022-2023 are:

— Kiptopeke Elementary School, Noel Miller

— Northampton Middle School, Justin Moses

— Northampton High School, Cris Mauricio

Northampton’s Teacher of the Year is chosen based on the same criteria used to select the Virginia Teacher of the Year.

To be nominated, a teacher must have at least five years of teaching experience, three or more years of teaching experience in Northampton, and a current Virginia teaching license. 

The nominee must teach a consistent group of students every day and plan to remain a Northampton teacher for the following school year.

The Service/Support Employee of the Year nomination process also has been expanded.

Previously, the principal of each school could nominate only one employee of the year. 

Starting this year, each principal can nominate one employee in each of four categories: administrative support, instructional support, service support (including cafeteria workers, custodians, and bus drivers), and professional and technical support (including instructional coaches, nurses, and information technology technicians).

The Service/Support Employee of the Year nominees for 2022-2023 are:

— Kiptopeke Elementary School, Sandy Parker, cafeteria worker

— Kiptopeke Elementary School, Marlo Walker, instructional assistant

— Northampton Middle School, Leo Owens, student mentor

— Northampton High School, Marcy Burgess, cafeteria manager

— Northampton High School, Barbrielle Rogers, secretary

— Central Office, Naomi Collins, network technician

To be nominated for this award, an employee must work in a service position (not as an administrator), have at least two years of contracted experience in the position, and have exhibited satisfactory performance for the last two years with no areas of needed improvement.

Martin’s “prize patrol” has surprised the nominees at work and delivered tokens of appreciation including plants, balloons, and certificates.

The award dinner and ceremony will be held in late May or early June. Sen. Lynwood Lewis is expected to speak at the event.

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