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

Arab News Editor in Chief Mohammed Fahad Al-Harthi hosted a banquet for editors in chief of local print and online publications, Shoura Council members, representative of the Ministry of Culture and Information, prominent writers and columnists in Je...
JEDDAH: Health workers from Riyadh’s National Guard hospital would not be allowed to perform Haj this year, or work at the holy sites, the Ministry of Health has announced.Hail Al-Abdali, head of the ministry’s infection control unit, was reportedly...
RIYADH: Construction on the multibillion-riyal Riyadh Metro is well under way with several giant drilling machines working overtime to ensure that underground tunnels for the project are completed on schedule.The Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA)...
JEDDAH: Officials from the Saudi Ministry of Haj have been holding meetings with their counterparts from Arab and South Asian nations in preparation for this year’s pilgrimage.Abdulrahman bin Ali Al-Nafei, assistant deputy minister of Haj and in char...
RIYADH: Four polling stations in Tabuk have stopped registering voters for the Dec. 12 municipal elections in the region.Ibrahim bin Ahmed Al-Ghabban, undersecretary at the Tabuk municipality and member of the local committee for the election of a mu...
JEDDAH: Many prospective candidates running for seats on the country’s municipal councils have been using Twitter to boost their election campaigns.Many have been using religious expressions in their messages, such as “In the name of God,” and “If He...
DAMMAM: There has been a flurry of activity on the Kingdom’s highways as service companies race to meet the Jan. 19 deadline for the revamp of dilapidated gas stations.The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs has previously handed out rehabilitati...
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Germany have signed an agreement on mutual protection of classified information to provide a legal framework for enhanced cooperation in the defense sector. The pact was signed by Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Aish, assistant mini...
JEDDAH: While Saudi Arabia has now arrested the main suspect in the 1996 bombing of the Alkhobar Towers residence at an American military base in the country, the hunt continues for three others, according to reports in the local media on Thursday.Ah...
AL-AHSA: Located in the western part of Al-Qara Mountain is a workshop for the pottery industry, molding clay in plastic forms that are given permanency by the use of intense heat. This art form became one of the major attractions in Al-Ahsa Archaeol...
RIYADH: A newborn baby boy, who appeared to be just hours old, was found lying in the grass, covered with a blanket, in an abandoned field in Jazan on Tuesday morning.According to local residents, a family passing by heard the baby crying and rushed...
TAIF: Several schools in Taif have recorded a lack of schoolbooks for primary and intermediate classes for the first time in 15 years, a local publication reported.This has resulted in many boys and girls not turning up for classes. A source said tha...
RIYADH: Justice Minister Walid Al-Samaani said that directives from Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman to protect the rights of citizens and public properties are being strictly implemented.“All legal measures are being taken to hold accou...
RIYADH: Najran region has retained its veritable unique cultural heritage and attractions, which include old mud buildings constructed some 300 years ago.While the laid-back ambience in many areas is gone due to modern life brought about by contempor...
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia, under Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman’s wise leadership, has witnessed an accelerated pace of economic growth with improved living standard of its people, says Uzbekistan Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Alisher Kadirov....

Stay Connected

Facebook