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Teachers of the Year

2023-24 Teachers of the Year

Charlottesville City Schools is proud to participate in Virginia’s Mary V. Bicouvaris Teacher of the Year program!  Each school recognizes a Teacher of the Year, and one of these outstanding educators is then recognized as the Charlottesville City Teacher of the Year representing the division at the regional and national levels.

Congratulations to this year’s winners:

Clark Elementary and Division Teacher of the Year: Catherine Gray, ESL Teacher 

Burnley-Moran Elementary: Ryan Trott, Art Teacher
Greenbrier Elementary School: Katie Plunkett, Media Specialist
Jackson-Via Elementary School: Lily Brookman, Art Teacher
Johnson Elementary: Leslie Scally, ESL Teacher
Venable Elementary School: Cicely Shelton-Barnes, Media Specialist
Walker Upper Elementary School: Summer Wagman, Sixth Grade Teacher
Buford Middle School: Mika Kawakami, History Teacher
Charlottesville High School: Joseph Patterson, Math Teacher
Lugo-McGinness Academy: Harry Hill, Biology Teacher

Dr. Royal Gurley; Division Teacher of the Year Catherine Gray; Clark Principal Carmella Johnson

From left: Superintendent Dr. Royal Gurley; Division Teacher of the Year Catherine Gray; and Clark Principal Carmella Johnson

2022-23 Teachers of the Year

Venable and Division Teacher of the Year: Sharlene Abney Chang.

  • Burnley-Moran Elementary: Joan Evans
  • Clark Elementary School: Caitlin Natale
  • Greenbrier Elementary School: Sarah Scavone
  • Jackson-Via Elementary School: Heather Grunden
  • Johnson Elementary: Kristi Hartwell
  • Venable Elementary School: Sharlene Abney Chang
  • Walker Upper Elementary School: Amy Wissekerke
  • Buford Middle School: Patricia Luke
  • Charlottesville High School: Pamela Brown
  • Lugo-McGinness Academy: Samantha Woodall


Teacher of the Year Sharlene Abney Chang

Charlottesville Schools Teacher of the Year Sharlene Abney Chang, center, with School Board vice chair Dom Morse, left, and Chair James Bryant, right.

What makes a Teacher of the Year?

Exhibits mastery of content knowledge and employs engaging creative instructional practices in the classroom and education in general.

  • Maintains an active and meaningful role in their school and Charlottesville City communities
  • Has earned the respect and admiration of students, parents, and colleagues.
  • May have distinguished themselves as leaders in public education at the local, regional, and/or state levels.

The Virginia Teacher of the Year program is separate from the Golden Apple Award for Charlottesville and Albemarle. Click here to learn about the Golden Apples.