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W-JCC superintendent honors 2017 teachers of the year

Superintendent Olwen Herron named 17 instructors as 2017 teachers of the year for Williamsburg-James City County Schools — one for each school plus the preschool program Bright Beginnings. 

Herron and the School Board recognized the teachers with a certificate at the board's March 21 meeting.

"The W-JCC Teacher of the Year program allows us to pay tribute to teachers who are exceptionally skilled, dedicated and who demonstrate excellence in the classroom," Herron said. "Each school teacher of the year is selected by peers for their outstanding classroom instruction and leadership."

Five of the 17 are special education teachers. At the middle and high school levels, those not in special education are all science instructors.

Elementary and preschool

Christy Hubbard is an early childhood special education teacher with the division's preschool program Bright Beginnings.

Robin Burford, going on 43 years of teaching, teaches kindergarten at Clara Byrd Baker.

Second-grade teacher Kelly Herspold has spent her six years with the division at D.J. Montague.

Williamsburg native Kelli Cooke leads the third-grade team at J. Blaine Blayton.

Hayley Cerar teaches special education at James River.

Matoaka Elementary's Courtney Fuller is a speech language pathologist at the school and leads speech pathology for the division.

Seventeen-year teaching veteran Kris VanDeusen is a science curriculum leader and computer resource instructor at Matthew Whaley.

Maryann Balint co-teaches special education at Norge, where she's been since 2001.

Rawls Byrd fifth-grade teacher Laura Efird is also the minority achievement leader for the school.

With W-JCC for 31 years, Lisa Hill is a third-grade teacher at Stonehouse.

Middle and high school

In her fifth year at Berkeley Middle School, Laura Treese teaches special education to each grade level.

Anthony Neeley taught for the U.S. Marines before entering the public school 17 years ago. He teaches eighth-grade science at Lois Hornsby Middle School.

With her marine biology degree, Jaclyn Beck uses hands-on methods with her seventh- and eighth-grade science students at Toano Middle School.

Jamestown High School chemistry teacher Kristin Cosby is also the school's science department curriculum leader.

Special education teacher Debbie Todd has worked with Lafayette High School students for 18 years.

A Middle Peninsula native, Chandler McKnight teaches earth science and oceanography at Warhill High School.

One teacher from each level — elementary, middle and high — will be announced the top teacher for that level next month. The division's overall teacher of the year will be named at an award banquet in April.

Williams can be reached by phone at 757-345-2341.

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