Smithfield High School—Julie Eng
**Isle of Wight County Schools Teacher of the Year**
**High School Teacher of the Year**
Julie Eng teaches English, Creative Writing, and Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow at Smithfield High School. She has been teaching for eighteen years, with the last eleven at SHS. From Phoenix, Arizona, she is a graduate of Emory University (Bachelor of Arts in Sociology), the College of William and Mary (Master of Arts in Reading, Language, and Literacy), and Southern New Hampshire University (Master of Arts in English Literature). Eng is a mentor to new teachers at SHS and is a sponsor of the Beta Club and the Social Justice Club. She encourages her students to become critical readers, writers, and thinkers by focusing on creativity, literary criticism, and collaboration with fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. She currently lives in Smithfield with her husband, two daughters, dog, and three cats.
Windsor High School— Deborah Simmons
Deborah Simmons is a dedicated Spanish teacher of nearly four decades and is in her 24th year at Windsor High School. Originally from Pittsburgh, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish Education from Seton Hill University and studied Professional Translation at the University of Pittsburgh and spent a year abroad at the University of Madrid, Spain. She has travelled extensively in Spain and throughout Europe for study and work. She loves sharing her passion for Spanish with her students. Authentic stories, songs, dances, and puppet shows are just some of her most enjoyable experiences. Every day, she strives to provide a safe learning environment for her students as they become successful, lifelong learners. She has moderated numerous clubs, mentored new teachers, and represented her school as Department Chairperson on the School Leadership Team. Simmons has been married for 30 years and has one son.
Georgie Tyler Middle School—Ashleigh Hazel
**Middle School Teacher of the Year**
Ashleigh Hazel is a chorus and guitar teacher at Georgie Tyler Middle School and Windsor High School. She is in her fourth year of teaching, all at her current position. She was born and raised in Virginia, growing up mostly in Fairfax, and received a Bachelor of Music and Master of Arts in Teaching from Christopher Newport University. She serves on the Instructional Leadership team at Georgie Tyler as a Fine Arts representative and on the Curation Committee for expo products. Hazel’s classroom strives to be one of strong relationships, joy, and compassion. She loves to be creative and to help others with the hope that her students will emulate these qualities. When she is not teaching, she works at a music studio giving private voice lessons. Hazel lives in Newport News with her husband.
Smithfield Middle School—Elizabeth Tisdel
Elizabeth Tisdel has taught Algebra I and 8th grade Math for 12 years, the last 3 being at Smithfield Middle School. She spent her first year of life in Isle of Wight County but spent the next 35 moving to where ever the Army sent her family. She graduated from William and Mary with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting. After raising her three children, she decided to follow what she believes is her true calling and earned her teaching license at Old Dominion University. Tisdel challenges students to learn through the use of prior knowledge, collaborative inquiry, and hands on activities. Her classroom environment encourages learning through students making errors and working together to understand their mistake. Tisdel enjoys watching her students participate in activities outside of the classroom, like playing sports, dancing, singing, or playing instruments. She currently lives in Smithfield with her husband. They have six adult children between them and two grandchildren.
Hardy Elementary School—Lee Ann Hawley
**Elementary School Teacher of the Year**
Lee Ann Hawley is a second grade teacher at Hardy Elementary. She has been with Isle of Wight County Schools for 20 years, all of which have been at Hardy Elementary. Hawley grew up in Suffolk and attended Suffolk Public Schools. She graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in Child Psychology from Christopher Newport University. During her time at Hardy, she has served as a grade level chairperson, a presenter in professional development, and fundraiser facilitator to help those in need. Hawley enjoys learning from other educators through blogs, social media, professional readings, and webcasts. She believes that as an educator, it is imperative to be open to new ideas. In her classroom, students are encouraged to work collaboratively, communicate ideas in a variety of ways, and take risks. She believes that providing an environment in which students feel loved, accepted, and free to make mistakes, is essential to giving students the confidence and mindset needed to be successful. In addition, she believes that teacher enthusiasm is key to instilling a love of learning in students. Hawley is married with two sons and resides in Suffolk.
Carrollton Elementary School—Morgan Chappell
Morgan Chappell is an energetic third grade teacher at Carrollton Elementary School. She is currently in her sixth year of teaching with Isle of Wight County Schools, all at Carrollton Elementary in kindergarten and third grade. She is a former Smithfield High School Packer who attended Old Dominion University and received her undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and her Master’s degree in Elementary Education (PK-6). Her goal as an educator is not only to help develop math and reading skills but to create the very best learning environment she can for her students every day and to provide the lessons, assistance, and encouragement they need in order to mature into confident, well-rounded, life-long learners. She wants prepare them to face the challenges of life and to possess the resiliency necessary to carry on in the face of those challenges until they achieve success. In addition to teaching, she also plays an active role on the school’s Leadership Team as the third grade level chair. Chappell currently lives in Smithfield with her husband and two children.
Carrsville Elementary School—Debbie Story
Debbie Story has been teaching third grade with Isle of Wight County Schools for fourteen years-- five years at Hardy Elementary and the last nine at Carrsville Elementary. After many years of working, and going through the loss of her mother, she decided to attend college. She is a graduate of Paul D. Camp Community College and Chowan College with a degree in Elementary Education. She has a teaching endorsement in special education from Old Dominion University. She embraces Project Based Learning, learner self-discovery, and creating a community environment within the classroom. Story believes students are more than just a test score, and that they are much more successful when they are allowed opportunities to collaborate, communicate, and learn from one another. She wants students to leave her classroom knowing they are valued, respected, and loved. She has served on various committees, volunteered countless hours, and has an active role with the school’s Leadership Team. Story lives in Carrsville with her husband. She has two daughters, both of whom graduated from the division, and two grandchildren.
Westside Elementary School—Ceceli Lleva
Ceceli Lleva is a native of Smithfield and a product of Isle of Wight County Schools. She participated in the Teacher Cadet Program at Smithfield High School during her senior year. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Longwood University. This is her fifth year of teaching, with all five years spent at Westside Elementary School, where she currently teaches fifth grade. She has served as a professional mentor and is presently on the District’s Response to Intervention Committee. She is an educator committed to collaborative learning that engages all students despite specific learning differences. Her teaching philosophy is centered on the idea that each student is unique and she believes her responsibility as an educator is assisting each student in developing his or her own potential and learning style. Lleva and her husband live in Newport News and have two young daughters.
Windsor Elementary School—Pamela Hall
Pamela Hall is a dedicated, enthusiastic educator at Windsor Elementary School where she ignites the love of learning in her first graders and colleagues. She has taught children and led educators for over twenty-five years. Before settling down at Windsor Elementary, she taught overseas for the Department of Defense Schools for many years. Hall creates a culture where every student feels special, and that they have something to contribute. She believes in the educational principle that education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. She is passionate about anything that makes a positive difference in a child’s life. Project-based learning allows her students to love learning through hands-on, real-life lessons. In addition to teaching first grade, she is a literacy advocate through her non-profit foundation, Literate For Life. She lives in Suffolk with her wonderful, supportive husband, and two boys.