2023 Educator & MVP of the Year!

2023 Educator & MVP of the Year!
Posted on 05/08/2023

An elementary school teacher known division-wide for her positivity and an instructional assistant who focuses on helping students develop a love for math were both honored by Louisa County Public Schools on Wednesday, May 3rd as its top certified and classified employees in the school division!

Trevilians Elementary School second-grade teacher Amy Seay received the 2023 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, Thomas Jefferson Elementary School instructional assistant Colleen Lamana was named the 2023 Wallace L. Tingler MVP of the Year, which goes to the school division’s top classified employee. 

Seay and Lamana 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 operations team is also represented by a classified employee). Each of the 13 honorees earned the opportunity to represent their school first by receiving a #TeamLCPS MVP nomination during the 2022-2023 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 2023 William G. Thomas Educator of the Year and the 2023 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.

Seay, who has worked at Louisa County Public Schools for 27 years, is known throughout Trevilians Elementary School for her instructional excellence, tremendous work ethic, and passion for education. In a portfolio she compiled for the judging panel, Seay made it clear where her motivation comes from. 

“The children are my inspiration,” Seay said. “Have you ever walked into a classroom with about 20 elementary students rushing up to you, smiling, and excited to share something with you? My smile welcomes them!”

Seay also said one of the highlights of her job is the supportive, team atmosphere found at Louisa County Public Schools.

“We have a model set where we walk in kindness, and we have non-negotiables that focus on our children,” Seay.

Seay was one of three school-level Educators of the Year with more than a dozen years of experience, joined by Louisa County High School teacher Helen Weddle (14 years) and Louisa County High School counselor Jennifer Purcell (24 years).

Meanwhile, Lamana was highlighted for her efforts to make lessons both engaging and challenging. Lamana plays a key role in the Numeracy Station at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, which helps students stay on track and develop a love for math. As part of her efforts, Lamana worked with her teammates to make the Station’s learning space an inviting area with various unique and fun themes throughout the year.

“The students – and even administrators – have enjoyed our decorative and festive themes,” Lamana said. “The extra mile that everyone is willing to go is what keeps students engaged and makes our school so special.”

Lamana also stressed that she views positivity as one of the most important factors in a student’s success.

“Whether it’s a smile or saying ‘Good morning,’ it is so important for our children to see the impact of positivity,” Lamana said.

At Wednesday’s ceremony, Superintendent Straley applauded the work of Seay, Lamana, and the entire group of honorees for their heroic efforts during the 2022-2023 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. Each of the 13 honorees was also able to invite up to five guests to join them as well. 

During 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 really 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: custodian Patrick McCarthy.

Moss-Nuckols Elementary School: attendance and records secretary Christel Johnson.

Thomas Jefferson Elementary School: instructional assistant Colleen Lamana. 

Trevilians Elementary School: instructional assistant Anthony Franklin. 

Louisa County Middle School: security monitor Brian Cain. 

Louisa County High School: administrative assistant Ashley Shumaker. 

Central Office and Operations: pupil personnel services administrative assistant Lauren Manrique.

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

Jouett Elementary School: second-grade teacher Jessica Pittman.

Moss-Nuckols Elementary School: first-grade teacher Dorothy Knight

Thomas Jefferson Elementary School: fourth-and-fifth-grade teacher Blair Gibson.

Trevilians Elementary School: second-grade teacher Amy Seay.

Louisa County Middle School: school counselor Jennifer Purcell.

Louisa County High School: English teacher Helen Weddle.

Louisa County Public Schools would like to thank The William A. Cooke Foundation and Old Dominion Insurance & Investments in Winchester for sponsoring the 2022-2023 #TeamLCPS MVP Awards process. Their support helped make the entire 2022-2023 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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