In conjunction with his education reform agenda Gov. Bob McDonnell proclaimed 2013 as the "Year of the Teacher" Thursday.
“Virginia’s teachers demonstrate selfless leadership day after day in classrooms across the Commonwealth,” McDonnell said in a press release. “Everyone knows a teacher who's stayed after school to support students; who's buying their own supplies; who's grading homework until 10, 11, or 12 at night then getting up early to put together the next day’s lesson plan. This is amazing dedication. We must do more to recognize and appreciate these professionals. Teachers are charged with the responsibility of passing on traditions, knowledge and character to the next generation. They instill a love for learning, a respect for fellow mankind and a belief that the American dream is achievable by all, regardless of ZIP code or station in life. Today, I am pleased to announce that we will recognize teachers throughout the year for their commitment to excellence in education.”
In addition to proposing a 2 percent raise for the state's public school teachers as part of his legislative agenda, McDonnell plans to honor teachers throughout the year.
First on the agenda to honor teachers McDonnell is asking Virginians to send in stories about their favorite teachers.
“I remember my third grade teacher, Mrs. Gikas,”McDonnell said. “She was a stickler for making sure that work was done on time without excuses, but she did it in a way that was encouraging and uplifting. She truly believed that her students could do anything if they put their mind to it. Mrs. Gikas was a teacher and mentor who both inspired and demanded excellence.”
The "My Favorite Teacher" contest runs through Jan. 30. Email essays of 100 words or less about your favorite educator to to K12Education@governor.virginia.gov. Submissions will be posted throughout the month at http://www.facebook.com/AllStudentsVirginia.