Williamsburg-James City Co. teacher named top in region, 'Virginia Teacher of the Year' finalist

Posted at 11:24 PM, Sep 19, 2020

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - A Williamsburg-James City County teacher was named top in the region by the Virginia Department of Education and a finalists for the 2021 Virginia Teacher of the Year Award.

Jamestown High School World Language teacher Alisa Smith was named Region II Teacher of the Year by VDOE.

Smith is also one of eight finalists for the 2021 Virginia Teacher of the Year Award. A panel of classroom teachers and representatives of professional and educational associations and the business community will interview each of the regional teachers to select the 2021 Virginia Teacher of the Year

Williamsburg-James City County (WJCC) Schools Superintendent Dr. Olwen E. Herron made a surprise visit to the school on September 18 to announce the award.

“Ms. Smith exemplifies the teaching excellence we are proud to provide our students,” said Superintendent Dr. Herron. “Through her teaching expertise and her concerted effort to build relationships with each of her students, Ms. Smith not only embeds an appreciation for the Spanish language and culture in all her students but also serves as an example to her colleagues.”

School officials say Smith has 20 years of teaching experience, with 5 of those years serving as the World Language teacher at JHS.

She served as a mentor teacher from 2017 to 2019 until she became the lead mentor and presenter for new teachers at the high school. Smith is also a leader of the school’s 1:1 computer hardware Pilot Program.

“Ms. Smith represents the highest standards of professionalism, instruction and caring for educators,” said JHS Principal Howard Townsend. “She sponsors various academic and engaging clubs and honor societies and engages families of English Language Learners, often mobilizing students to help her build a stronger community.”