Isle of Wight County Schools

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Smithfield Middle School Teacher Announced as 2020-2021 IWCS Teacher of the Year

Superintendent Dr. Jim Thornton surprised Jewett today in her classroom and presented her with an arrangement of flowers. Joining the celebration were Jewett’s students, Principal Matt Johnson, Assistant Principal Deb Oakes, Assistant Superintendent Mike Lombardo, and Executive Director of Leadership Susan Goetz. “I am truly honored to represent the division as Teacher of the Year,” said Jewett. “I just can’t put into words how special this is.” As part of the state process, the division will submit her portfolio to the Virginia Department of Education for consideration as a regional teacher of the year. A state panel will interview regional teachers of the year and select on as the Virginia Teacher of the Year.

Erin Jewett is a seventh grade English teacher at Smithfield Middle School. During her ten years at SMS, she spent the first seven years teaching seventh grade United States History before switching to her other passion of helping students find their love for reading and writing. Before coming to Isle of Wight County Schools, she spent six years as a fifth grade teacher. Born and raised in Goochland County, Virginia, she graduated from the College of William and Mary with undergraduate degrees in History and Elementary Education in 2005. After several years teaching elementary school, she felt called to middle school and added endorsements for 6th through 8th grade Social Studies and English instruction. She always strives to be a resource for other teachers who need help finding ideas and digital tools for this new world of virtual learning.

In addition to teaching, she also serves on the School Leadership Team, has helped students start a Dungeons & Dragons club, and worked on the district’s instructional pacing guides for 7th grade reading and writing. She also started training to become a CodeVA computer science coach. Her classroom encourages students to engage in the learning process through collaboration, technology, and frequent classroom transformations. She has made it a personal mission to make her classroom a place where all students, especially students in special education, feel successful, important, and loved. Mrs. Jewett lives in Portsmouth, Virginia with her husband, nine-year old son, and Labrador Retriever.

The Teachers of the Year selected for 2020—2021 also include: Sara Baughman, Windsor Elementary School and the Elementary Teacher of the Year for IWCS; Awilda Velez-Chambers, Smithfield High School and the High School Teacher of the Year for IWCS; Leslie Moring, Windsor High School; Alexandra Hodges, Georgie Tyler Middle School; Shea Wilde, Carrollton Elementary School; Lynn Taplin, Carrsville Elementary School; Jennifer Haislip, Hardy Elementary School; Erica Newcomb, Westside Elementary School.