Virginia teacher of the year honor goes to Fairfax County educator



THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Published — Monday 14 October 2013

Last update 14 October 2013 4:45 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

WASHINGTON: A Fairfax County first-grade teacher, best known for her dedication to her students in and out of the classroom, was named the 2014 Virginia teacher of the year.
Melissa Porfirio, 39, of Springfield, Virginia’s Crestwood Elementary, was one of eight teachers from across the state up for the honor.
Porfirio was stunned when the state superintendent for public instruction, Patricia Wright, made the announcement during a ceremony in Richmond, the state capital.
“This is a group of dynamic and outstanding teachers,” Porfirio said in a statement. “I was so surprised when my name was called. It is such an honor to represent Virginia’s teachers.” Colleagues describe Porfirio as a mentor to new teachers and someone whose model leadership in the classroom has been featured in training videos for Fairfax schools. She was the 2013 Fairfax County schools teacher of the year and was one of 20 recipients of The Washington Post’s Agnes Meyer outstanding teacher awards the same year.
“Melissa is an exceptional teacher and we are very proud that she has been named the 2013 Virginia Teacher of the Year,” Fairfax County School Superintendent Karen Garza said in a statement.
“Melissa is a gifted educator who instills in her students a love of learning. She is an inspiration to her students and to so many others... She is a wonderful example of the importance and the value of exceptional classroom teachers.”
Timothy Kasik, the principal at Crestwood, said before Porfirio joined Fairfax schools, she worked as a social worker for about five years.
In keeping with that experience, Porfirio is known for dedicating time outside of school to building relationships with students and their families. For example, she attends parent-teacher association events and after-school activities that her students are involved in.
A Crestwood teacher since 2005, Porfirio helped organize the school’s first international night, where families and teachers learned about the community’s diverse cultures through food, music and dancing.
“She is visible in the community,” Kasik said. “From sporting events to ballet recitals, you name it, she’s there.”
A graduate of Catholic University, Porfirio has a master’s degree in education from George Mason University. In September, she was chosen by the state as Northern Virginia’s teacher of the year. In Richmond on Friday, Porfirio received $7,500 in awards and other gifts for her selection as Virginia’s teacher of the of year.
Meanwhile, in Baltimore on Friday night, a Baltimore County high school English teacher won Maryland’s top honor.
Surrounded by educators and elected officials, Sean McCombs accepted the award from Gov. Martin O’Malley and Superintendent of Schools Lillian Lowery during the annual gala. McCombs, who teaches at Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts, was one of seven teachers selected as finalists.
“Sean personifies the cutting edge Maryland educator,” Lowery said in a statement. “He is an energetic instructor, making certain his students set goals, commit to those targets, succeed, and move forward toward college or career. His passionate work reflects well on our state’s education system.”
As a result of their wins, Porfirio and McCombs are nominees for the national teacher of the year, which will be announced this spring at the White House.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir has denounced “aggressive statements” by Iran, after Tehran accused Bahrain of stoking Gulf tensions by making unfounded allegations against it.“This is unacceptable to us,” the minister said at a joint news co...
DAMMAM: A wanted terrorist was killed during a gunfight in the town of Al-Qudayh in the Eastern Province on Sunday, police said.Qatif police received a report that a Saudi man suffered gunshots and was taken to Modhar Dispensary in Al-Qudayh by his b...
JEDDAH: The Saudi security forces have thwarted nearly 18,000 infiltration attempts on the Kingdom’s border with Yemen since the launch of Operation Decisive Storm in March. “The number of infiltration attempts foiled by the security authorities sinc...
ABHA: Several Saudi businesswomen started traveling with a group of friends after recent regulations which allow women to travel without their mahram. These women said they find great fun to travel as a group with their friends and their children, wh...
RIYADH: The United Nations, Arab League and Gulf Cooperation Council welcomed the Kingdom-led coalition’s announcement of a five-day cease-fire, that took effect at midnight on Sunday, to push humanitarian relief in war-ravaged Yemen to the beleaguer...
ALKHOBAR: Jobless Saudi women constitute 70 percent of the unemployed. The Ministry of Economy and Planning said 58 percent of the jobless have preparatory school level education. According to the statistics, the annual unemployment growth rate among...
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has found traces of a civilization that was domesticating horses about 9,000 years ago, 4,000 years earlier than previously thought. The discovery has shed new light on the origin of the Arabian horse, which has remained a great...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Labor in the Makkah region found 250 laborers working on various construction projects during restricted hours of the day. Punitive measures will be taken against the employers of these workers. According to a ministerial decr...
JEDDAH: When poverty is your guest for 15 years, gardens, parks, streets and pavements become your abode under the unavoidable scorching sun. One has to face hardships of hunger and survive on breadcrumbs. This is the situation of a 60-year-old Saudi...
JEDDAH: The negative attitudes of society in dealing with harassment and abuse cases prevent victims from reporting a great number of such cases to the authorities.Despite this, about 3,982 cases reached the country's criminal courts in 1435 and 1436...
AL-QATIF: The Omani security forces have arrested a man who, they said, accidentally fired a bullet that hit a young Saudi girl in a hotel in Musandam on Saturday. Four-year-old Zainab bint Mohammed Labad of Al-Awamiyah was playing in the hotel lobby...
Ramon Corvera, deputy chief of mission at the Argentinian Embassy in Riyadh.* Which particular aspect of Saudi Arabia you like the most? The natural beauty of the desert.* What is your favorite and oft-repeated Arabic word? Masha’Allah.* Which book i...
JEDDAH: The creativity and entrepreneurship community program of Umm Al-Qura University brought together 80 creative entrepreneurs to exchange their experiences and knowledge on Monday. Fawaz Saad, the dean of the institute for innovation and entrepr...
RIYADH: The August issue of ‘Nature’, the monthly magazine of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), will focus on Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) corona, which has affected 1,055 people in the Kingdom since June 2012.The to...
LILLE, France: Saudi Arabia’s firm stand against the phenomenon of violence as well as religious, ethnic and cultural fanaticism came in for praise at an international symposium, which concluded here.The participants of the symposium on "Media Covera...

Stay Connected

Facebook