Allen & Allen is pleased to congratulate the 2014, Virginia Teacher of the Year, Melissa A. Porfirio. On October 11, 2013, Ms. Porfirio was awarded the honor of 2014 Virginia Teacher of the Year at an evening banquet and reception in Richmond, Virginia. Ms. Porfirio was recognized with seven other outstanding 2014 Regional Teachers of the Year from across the state. She is a first-grade teacher at Crestwood Elementary School in Fairfax County, Virginia and has taught at Crestwood for eight years. She earned her Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction from George Mason University.
Melissa Porfirio worked as an English teacher to adolescents in Seoul, Korea and as a social worker in Washington, D.C. and North Carolina before starting her career at Crestwood. She currently serves on the school division’s Adaptive Schools and Responsive Instruction Team and provides turnaround training at school staff meetings. She encourages her students to learn respect for others at a young age through volunteer charities. Ms. Porfirio exemplifies support and encouragement for her students by attending their extracurricular events such as sports games, church plays and dance recitals.
The Virginia Teacher of the Year program is dedicated to recognizing top educators from across the Commonwealth and the Virginia personal injury law firm Allen & Allen has been involved with the program for over 20 years. Melinda H. South, an attorney with the firm, serves on the Virginia Teacher of the Year Selection Committee. At the reception, R. Clayton Allen, a Partner of Allen & Allen, presented Ms. Porfirio with a check for $2500 on behalf of the Allen Law Firm.
The Selection Panel for the 2014 reviewed portfolios of eight candidates nominated by the state’s administrative regions. Teacher portfolios highlighted their accomplishments, educational philosophies and community involvement. Ms. Porfirio was selected after being interviewed by a committee that included representatives of professional and educational associations, the business community of Virginia, and 2013 Virginia Teacher of the Year Kathryn B. Galford of Greenbrier Middle School in Chesapeake.
The 2014 Regional Teachers of the Year are announced as follows:
- Region 1: Tracey Zaval, an eighth-grade civics and economics teacher at Midlothian Middle School in Chesterfield County
- Region 2: Carrie E. Gantt, an eleventh-grade IB English and Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow instructor at Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach City
- Region 3: Tara J. Hefner, a second-grade teacher at Courtland Elementary School in Spotsylvania County
- Region 4: Melissa A. Porfirio, a first-grade teacher at Crestwood Elementary School in Fairfax County
- Region 5: Jennifer B. Lovett, a reading specialist at Linkhorne Elementary School in Lynchburg City
- Region 6: Byard W. Harris III, band director at Bassett High School in Henry County
- Region 7: Tina H. Cook, a keyboarding and computer solutions teacher at Chilhowie Middle School in Smyth County
- Region 8: Shawnta L. Posey-James, an earth science teacher at Greensville County High School in Greensville County