2024 Educator & MVP of the Year!

2024 Educator & MVP of the Year!
Posted on 05/02/2024

An elementary school teacher in her 38th year with Louisa County Public Schools and an instructional assistant who is well-known for her positive attitude and smile were honored by Louisa County Public Schools on Wednesday, May 1st as the school division’s top certified and classified employees for the 2023-2024 school year!

Thomas Jefferson Elementary School special education teacher Jodi Dalton received the 2024 William G. Thomas Educator of the Year Award, which honors the top certified educator at LCPS, during the school division’s annual banquet on Wednesday night. Meanwhile, instructional assistant Cheryl Sites – who also works at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School – was named the 2024 Wallace L. Tingler MVP of the Year, which goes to the school division’s top classified employee. 

Dalton and Sites received the awards during a ceremony at Tavern on the Green at Spring Creek on Wednesday night, where they were two of 13 division employees being celebrated for their level of excellence.

Each May, LCPS hosts its Educator/MVP of the Year Awards ceremony, where each of the school division’s six schools is represented by a classified and certified employee (the school division’s central office and operations team is also represented by a classified employee). Each of the 13 honorees earned the opportunity to represent their school by first receiving a #TeamLCPS MVP nomination during the 2023-2024 school year. Then, a vote was held amongst each school’s employees to determine each school’s individual winner. 

From there, an independent panel made up of representatives from schools throughout the county collaborated to select the 2024 William G. Thomas Educator of the Year and the 2024 Wallace L. Tingler MVP of the Year, the school division’s two most prestigious honors. 

Both of this year’s winners were commended for continually going above and beyond the call of duty to meet the needs of students, and doing so with a consistent and positive attitude.

Dalton, who began her career at Louisa County Public Schools in 1986, has become well-known for her tremendous work ethic, kindness, and passion for education in her nearly four decades of service at LCPS. In a portfolio she compiled for the judging panel, Dalton was quick to credit her fellow educators for the success she has experienced in the classroom.

“I have been blessed with the most amazing principals, co-workers, and central office staff during my time at LCPS,” Dalton said. “These individuals have allowed me to become the teacher I am today. The connections I have with my fellow educators has allowed me to keep the kids engaged and excited.”

Dalton also emphasized the importance of having high expectations in the educational world.

“For my students, I have always tried to instill in them that – no matter what deficits you may have – the standard doesn’t change,” Dalton said. “I tell them that together we will get them where they need to be.”

Meanwhile, Sites was also highlighted for consistently emphasizing kindness and support each day. Sites, an instructional assistant, mainly works with 4th and 5th-grade students with Individualized Education Plans and is well known for using positive reinforcement to help students reach their maximum potential.

“Successfully brightening someone’s day, whether it’s a child or an adult, brings joy to the heart,” Sites said. 

And just as was the case with Dalton, Sites credited the entire Thomas Jefferson Elementary School community for her success.

“It’s easy to come to school with a joyful smile every day when you are blessed with a team you love, administrators who support you, and a school division that emphasizes kindness and positivity,” Sites said. 

At Wednesday’s ceremony, Superintendent Straley applauded the work of Dalton, Sites, and the entire group of honorees for their extraordinary efforts during the 2023-2024 school year.

“Every single day, our educators show how dedicated they are to our students,” Straley said. “One of the most enjoyable parts of our Educator/MVP of the Year ceremony is getting to hear some of the behind-the-scenes stories about how our educators are changing the lives of our students. I always say that people are your most valuable resource, and we have a team full of incredible people here in Louisa County. I’m just so proud of each one of them and it’s an honor to be their Superintendent.”

There were a lot of proud supporters in the crowd on Wednesday night, too. Members from both the Louisa County School Board and Board of Supervisors were in attendance, as well as administrative teams from each school. The night’s 13 honorees were also able to invite up to five guests to join them as well. 

After Wednesday’s ceremony, Louisa County School Board Chairman Greg Strickland praised all 13 honorees for their passion for education and helping others.

“Our school division takes so much pride in the hard work of our team members, and these 13 individuals demonstrate what it means to truly love your job,” Strickland said. “They are such a positive influence on those around them, and it’s hard to put into words how valuable that is. They are truly superheroes.”

Wednesday’s ceremony was the culmination of a year-long voting process known as the #TeamLCPS MVP Awards. Each week, the school division accepts nominations for students, classified staff members, certified staff members, and community members who are living out the school division’s non-negotiables. Each week, approximately 400 nominations are submitted, and one person from each of the four categories is recognized and featured in a highlight video. The weekly #TeamLCPS MVP videos have become a highlight for many people, generating thousands of views online each week.

Superintendent Straley said one of the most rewarding aspects of the process is how everyone in the community is able to be involved.

“Our nominations this year have come from people with diverse backgrounds from all across this county, and what connects them is that they’re thankful for what members of #TeamLCPS are doing for this community,” Superintendent Straley said. “It’s a real boost for our team members when they receive a nomination for doing things the right way. I’m thankful to everyone who has submitted a nomination this school year.”

The full list of school-level MVPs of the Year who were honored on Wednesday night included:

Jouett Elementary School: bus driver and substitute teacher Wayne Koegler.

Moss-Nuckols Elementary School: instructional assistant Alconia Anderson.

Thomas Jefferson Elementary School: instructional assistant Cheryl Sites.

Trevilians Elementary School: technology specialist Darrell Tinsley.

Louisa County Middle School: custodian Wilson Herring.

Louisa County High School: technology specialist April Pekary.

Central Office and Operations: maintenance specialist Thayne Barber.

The full list of school-level Educators of the Year who were honored on Wednesday night included:

Jouett Elementary School: first-grade teacher Kasi Dominick.

Moss-Nuckols Elementary School: second-grade teacher Dana Nemec.

Thomas Jefferson Elementary School: special education teacher Jodi Dalton.

Trevillans Elementary School: third-grade teacher Jennifer Bracken.

Louisa County Middle School: librarian Lewis Coleman.

Louisa County High School: social studies teacher Sarah Amick.

Louisa County Public Schools would like to thank The William A. Cooke Foundation and Old Dominion Insurance & Investments in Winchester for sponsoring the 2023-2024 #TeamLCPS MVP Awards process. Their support helped make the entire 2023-2024 Educator/MVP of the Year process possible.

The Wallace L. Tingler Award is named after Wallace “Chuck” Tingler, a longtime member of the Louisa Education Foundation. Tingler also tremendously assisted the Louisa County community through his philanthropic efforts while serving as Chairman of the Board for the William A. Cooke Foundation and William A. Cooke, Incorporated. The William G. Thomas Award is named after Dr. William Thomas, who served as the superintendent for Louisa County Public Schools for 11 years.

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