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Hampton Roads Community News

*Chesapeake Teacher Named 2022 Virginia Teacher of the Year*


A Chesapeake elementary school teacher was selected last week as the 2022 Virginia Teacher of the Year.

Daphne Tamara Fulson, a second-grade teacher at Portlock Primary School in Chesapeake, is the 2022 Virginia Teacher of the Year. Fulton’s selection was announced during a livestream by Governor Ralph Northam at the Executive Mansion.

“It is unreal, it is unreal. You go to work every day, and you just love on the kids and you don’t expect this kind of recognition. It feels so good to be recognized for something you love to do,” Fulson said after calling out a greeting to each of her students by name.

“I will now have a larger platform to share all of the ideas I have to incorporate and infuse educational equity into the schools, and a larger platform to share my joy about education.”

Gov. Northam called her “an extraordinary teacher who goes above and beyond to support and challenge her students.”

“Her classroom at Portlock Primary provides a positive learning environment where all

children feel welcome as they learn and grow. She is an outstanding representative for Virginia’s exemplary teachers and public schools.”

Northam announced Fulson’s selection at the conclusion of the annual Virginia Teacher of the Year ceremony, which also included remarks by first lady Pamela Northam, Secretary of Education Atif Qarni, Board of Education Vice President Jamelle Wilson and Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane.

“Daphne stands out as a teacher committed to creating equity in all aspects of public education and in maximizing the potential of every learner in her classroom, her school and her division,” Lane said.

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“She believes in the power of culturally responsive teaching to improve learning, drive change and promote social justice, one child at a time.”

“Daphne’s students say she allows them to be themselves, while equipping them to succeed and thrive at school,” Qarni said. “Her deep belief in each of her students’ potential has the power to transform their lives forever.”

A Virginia Department of Education selection committee chose Fulson — the Region 2 Teacher of the Year — following interviews with each of eight regional winners. The committee included representatives of professional, educational associations, the business community and 2021 Virginia Teacher of the year Anthony Swann.

Fulson earned a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Communications and Spanish Education, and a double minor in Social Welfare and English, from Old Dominion University in 2013. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Educational Leadership at ODU. Fulson

entered the classroom 12 years ago and has been at Portlock Primary for four years.

Her experiences also include teaching English in Peru, serving as an International Global Ambassador in Costa Rica, and serving as a content and pedagogy facilitator for Teach for America.

As the 2022 Virginia Teacher of the Year, Fulson received an engraved crystal apple and plaque, monetary awards from Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen, a membership to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and

educational opportunities from 15 Virginia public and private colleges and universities.

The other seven 2022 Virginia Regional Teachers of the Year are Ashley Sharell Bland, Richmond; Robert Dean LaFollette, Essex County; Howard L. Brewer Jr., Fairfax County; Matthew Kenneth Uselton, Bedford County; Eboni Jenee Harrington, Roanoke; Ashley Duncan Cannon, Smyth County; Brendan Mayer Conroy, Appomattox County;

She will now compete with teachers in other states for The 2022 National Teacher of the Year. That winner will be announced next spring at a White House ceremony.

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