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Education Promotes 2021 District Teacher of the Year Candidates Online

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — The Virgin Islands Department of Education has announced the top five teachers in each school district for 2021.

One teacher from each of the two school districts will be named “Teacher of the Year” at a virtual recognition ceremony streamed live on the department’s Facebook page.

The VIDE virtual ceremony begins online at 1 p.m. on Friday, November 6, for the St. Croix District and Tuesday, November 10, for the St. Thomas-St. John District.

The St. Croix candidates are Veronica Sargeant, Pearl B. Larsen PreK-8 School; Tysha St. Jules, Juanita Gardine K-8 School; Wendy Wynter, Lew Muckle Elementary School; Anne Wilkins, John H. Woodson Jr. High School; and Alicia Walters-Ramos, St. Croix Educational Complex.

The St. Thomas-St. John candidates are Donnia Attidore-Meyers, Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School; Sherilyn O. Hodge, Joseph Sibilly Elementary School; Cristina Marie L. Senosa, Ivanna Eudora Kean High School; Roselyn Samuel-Hodge, Joseph A. Gomez Elementary School; and Melony C. Dawes, Charlotte Amalie High School.

“This is always a special time of year for the Department of Education when we recognize our top teachers in the districts,” said Education Commissioner Racquel Berry-Benjamin. “We celebrate these outstanding educators for their dedication to students and the teaching profession. They champion our students’ success, both inside and outside of the classroom, and we couldn’t be more pleased to recognize their hard work and commitment.”

To be considered for the district award, candidates must have:

Three years of outstanding or distinguished rating in overall performance

Three years of outstanding or distinguished rating in attendance

Data and artifacts to support the following:

  • be a full-time teacher, certified by V.I. Board of Education, and in good standing,
  • spend the majority of the school day in direct instruction to students,
  • have a minimum of three years of experience as a teacher in the Virgin Islands Department of Education,
  • have a track record of exceptional gains in student learning,
  • have a broad understanding of research-based models for effective teaching and of current trends and issues in education,
  • be facilitators of learning, skilled in implementing creative teaching strategies,
  • be able to show evidence of positive teacher effect over time related to student achievement through formal and informal documentation,
  • be able to explain, discuss and defend a personal philosophy of teaching,
  • be poised, articulate, enthusiastic and energetic,
  • be exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable and skilled,
  • have a superior ability to teach and to inspire in students a love of learning,
  • be recognized as leaders in the community and in the school,
  • show active involvement and leadership in professional development and extra-curricular activities,
  • inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn, and
  • have the respect and admiration of students, parents, and colleagues

Top Five Selection

All application submissions were scored using a rubric, and the top five candidates were selected by a panel convened by the superintendent’s office.

Each of the top five candidates was forwarded to a separate judging panel, who evaluated and submitted scores to the superintendent’s office for the final presentation.

Top five candidates were required to:

  1. Submit a biography
  2. Submit an electronic portfolio highlighting their educational accomplishments, student engagements, school engagements, student data, educational philosophies and community activities.
  3. Complete a virtual classroom observation. Panelists visited candidates’ classrooms virtually to conduct a classroom observation using the Charlotte Danielson Framework.
  4. Virtually present their electronic portfolio and complete the interview process with the panel. (This is the final judging segment of the selection process.)

To read the candidates’ biographies and to learn more about them, visit

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