By Charlotte Flynn
Prince William County Schools celebrated their outstanding educators on Tuesday, May 25.
The awards ceremony took place at Gar-Field High School, providing an opportunity to celebrate superior educators. The awards highlighted were Teacher and Principal of the Year, Mentor and Lead Mentor of the Year, New Teacher of the Year, and those that were nationally certified. Invited guests had the chance to honor selected teachers, sample prepared hors d’oeuvres, enjoy student musical performances, and admire elegant decorations. Featured speakers and special guests included Chairman Lateef, Superintendent McDade, and other members of the school board and Virginia delegates, praising the county’s nominees and reflecting on their hard work.
Each year, the Prince William community has the opportunity to nominate teachers and principals to receive recognition at this awards ceremony. The applications for these nominees take several months to review. Each application is scored by a committee and processed to determine the finalists and ultimately the winner in each category. This year there were 15 teacher finalists and four principal finalists, with a number of nationally certified recipients.
The event began with dinner hosted in the main hallway; guests enjoyed finger foods crafted by students from Potomac High School’s culinary class. A wide selection of breads, cheeses, kabobs, and desserts were served while high school orchestra students played classical music. Guests were then ushered into the auditorium for the ceremony to begin, enjoying a number of speeches and student performances in between announcements for winners.
Kelly Pratte from Belmont Elementary School and Shannon Fletcher from Coles Elementary School were awarded Lead Mentor and Mentor of the Year respectively, while Todd Robbins from Osbourn Park High School was highlighted as Teacher of the Year and Rhonda Jeck from Bristow Run Elementary School received Principal of the Year.
“When you’ve been in the county for 16 years, the leadership opportunities I’ve been given by so many wonderful administrators makes a huge difference in the development of an educator,” Todd Robbins said during his acceptance speech. “It’s one of the reasons I am standing here today.”
The hard work of all of Prince William’s educators did not go unnoticed; each recipient honored their colleagues and congratulated their achievements from the podium.
“Prince William County has so many amazing and talented principals,” Rhonda Jeck said during her speech. “I am truly humbled.”
Dr. McDade recognized each recipient and their success, reflecting on the ceremony.
“This evening was absolutely magical,” she said. “After a challenging year, what a way to end this school year–celebrating our outstanding educators. I’m so happy to be a part of the PWCS family.”
This event gave teachers the chance to celebrate their accomplishments, recognizing their peers and the impact they had on Prince William students. The evening was a wonderful experience that allowed the community to honor those who serve their children, and it set a precedent for future events.
Charlotte Flynn is an intern at Prince William Living.