Provided by Prince William County Schools (PWCS)
Prince William County Public Schools named Gail Drake teacher of the year, and Hamish Brewer principal of the year. Dr. Steve Walts, Superintendent of Schools, surprised the winners with a visit to their schools on Feb. 1.
Teacher of the Year Gail Drake
Drake is the IT Curriculum and Dual Enrollment coordinator at Battlefield High School. She has worked for PWCS since 2004, and she established the first robotics team in the school division. She teaches courses while serving as the department chair for Instructional Technology. Brewer is the principal of Fred Lynn Middle School and has worked for PWCS since 2010. He is a world-renowned speaker and author, most recently presenting a TEDx Talk.
When explaining the award to Drake’s students, Walts said, “We have several thousand teachers in Prince William County Schools, so this is a very competitive process. I know she is wonderful because I have been out here ever since I came [to PWCS], way back in 2005. Battlefield had the first robotics program in the school division, and that year they already started placing in local state and national competitions.”
Drake is an awardee of the prestigious FRC Woodie Flowers Award, given to the world’s top robotics coach.
Principal of the Year Hamish Brewer
Walts surprised Brewer with his selection of Principal of the Year in front of an excited group of students and staff members in the auxiliary gym.
“I knew Mr. Brewer a few years back and kind of followed him over the years in his progress as an assistant principal and then he became a principal,” Walts said. “And he’s done amazing things as the principal of Fred Lynn. He also did amazing things as the principal over at Occoquan Elementary School. Fred Lynn is making amazing progress and people are practically knocking down the doors to attend school here now. We appreciate all the hard work that you have done over the years. Consistent improvement every place you’ve gone, dedicated to helping young people, and that’s what is all about, so congratulations.”
Brewer is an award-winning Title I Principal, was named the Nationally Distinguished Principal for Virginia in 2017 and was also named 2018 Northern Virginian of the Year.
Drake holds a master’s degree in computer information systems and a master’s degree in business administration from Southern New Hampshire University. She also has a master’s degree in cyber security from Marymount University. She earned her career switcher teacher certificate from Old Dominion University.
Brewer is currently working toward his doctorate through Virginia Tech. He earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education and teaching from the University of Auckland, as well as his master’s degree in educational leadership and administration from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Drake and Brewer will represent Prince William County Public Schools in The Washington Post Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year competition. All PWCS nominees for these awards, as well as the National Board-Certified Teachers, will be recognized at a divisionwide ceremony on Feb. 25 at Colgan High School.