Jennifer Faria, a fourth-grade teacher at George C. Round Elementary School (Round), is the Manassas City Public Schools nominee for the Mary V. Bicouvaris Virginia Teacher of the Year award for 2018.
The award honors teachers, librarians and counselors who represent the best in the state. Faria will compete with other public schools in Region 4, including Prince William, Fairfax and Loudoun counties, before going on to compete with additional regional winners in the state for the distinguished title.
Faria’s ability to lead staff and students earned her several nominations for the award. Students describe Faria as motivating, supportive, inspirational, and someone who leads by example in the classroom. She is described by colleagues as tireless in her dedication to students. “She does whatever it takes to make sure they understand the concepts, even if it means singing, dancing and being silly,” they said.
Faria’s level of enthusiasm also makes her an effective educational leader. Since 2016, she has led multiple successful professional development activities due to her ability to transform the staff into a truly collaborative team, according to Principal Scott Baldwin. “One of Faria’s greatest strengths is her ability to engage staff in the reflective professional development activities that build a capacity for learning…and also have a positive impact on teaching and student learning,” said Amy Robinson, assistant principal at Round.
Faria’s support for students transcends the classroom. She worked tirelessly with other teachers to design and implement the after-school remediation program, Rocky’s Rangers. She represented her school on the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee, and helped first-year teachers as a mentor (2016-2017). Faria also volunteers for many of the school’s community events.
Faria was the Washington Post Teacher of the Year Nominee for 2017-2018. She won the Spark Plug Award in 2017, which is given to a teacher who is dependable, responsible, displays leadership capabilities and who is always willing to assist in any situation. She will be honored at the school division’s annual recognition ceremony, Evening with the Stars, on May 16, and the Manassas Education Foundation’s Annual Night of Excellence on May 24.