Alexandria can once again boast of having the best teacher in Northern Virginia.
Last week, the Virginia Department of Education announced that George Mason first grade teacher Jennifer Larsen had been named its Region 4 (Northern Virginia) Teacher of the Year. With the honor, Larsen is now one of only eight regional winners with a chance to become the 2010 Virginia Teacher of the Year.
Its amazing, Larsen said Tuesday. It totally values the time and effort that I put into teaching.
Theres so many teachers out there that are so dedicated and conscientious and caring with their students and theyre not all recognized, so its a huge honor to be one who is.
In the middle of her third straight day of student testing, Larsen got what she called a huge surprise Friday morning when Alexandria Superintendent Morton Sherman, School Board Chair Yvonne Folkerts and other school leaders dropped by her classroom to spread the news.
It took until Saturday to really sink in, Larsen said. I was explaining the whole process with my mom and thats when I figured out, Oh my gosh, Im one of eight in the whole state. Thats huge!
Larsen, last years recipient of the Alexandria City Public Schools Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher award, said she had known the regional award was announced sometime in the beginning of the year but the all-encompassing start of school had taken over, removing the prospect from her mind until she found out Friday.
With interviews for the state award looming later this month in Richmond, Larsen likes her chances.
Im thinking that I did pretty well on paper to get to this point, Larsen said. Im hoping that Im articulate and express myself well when Im there.