Berkeley MS English Teacher Named WJCC Teacher of the Year

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WJCC Teacher of the Year Shari Vandygriff (center) is surrounded by her students at Berkeley Middle School. Also pictured is WJCC School Board Chairman Jim Kelly (Jamestown). (WJCC Schools)
WJCC Teacher of the Year Shari Vandygriff (center) is surrounded by her students at Berkeley Middle School. Also pictured is WJCC School Board Chairman Jim Kelly (Jamestown). (WJCC Schools)

Shari Vandygriff, an eighth-grade English teacher at Berkeley Middle School, was named the Williamsburg-James City County School Division Teacher of the Year Wednesday night.

Vandygriff, who was also named the Middle School Teacher of the Year, was one of three finalists for the position.

She was considered for the honor alongside Elementary School Teacher of the Year Bryan Cole, a fifth grade teacher at Matthew Whaley Elementary School, and High School Teacher of the Year Chris Eames, a math teacher at Jamestown High School.

After receiving her Middle School Teacher of the Year Award, Vandygriff thanked her family members, mentors and colleagues for their support.

“This recognition is much bigger than me. It symbolizes all the teachers beyond here that have paid it forward, all the teachers that currently answer the call to serve our community in such a positive and meaningful way,” Vandygriff said. “What an incredible responsibility we have and what a blessing to witness the impact.”

Vandygriff has worked in WJCC Schools since 2009 and is currently the English curriculum lead at Berkeley. Her teaching philosophy emphasizes building trusting relationships, providing a nurturing learning environment and encouraging collaboration.

She was selected after judges reviewed her nominating packet and visited her classroom.

Teachers from all WJCC schools were considered for the honor:

Elementary

  • Sarah Sams, early childhood special education, Bright Beginnings
  • James Goggin, physical education, Clara Byrd Baker
  • Fawna Wilcox, special education, D.J. Montague
  • Marilee Ward, math specialist, J. Blaine Blayton
  • Heidi Meadows, kindergarten, James River
  • Andrea Freeland, fifth grade, Matoaka
  • Bryan Cole, fifth grade, Matthew Whaley
  • Kelly Parsons, second grade, Norge
  • Amy Gauntt, kindergarten, Rawls Byrd
  • Evelyn R. Jessie, fourth grade, Stonehouse

Middle

  • Shari Vandygriff, English, Berkeley
  • Debra Kosloski, Science, Hornsby
  • Valerie Hart, general music, Toano

High

  • Chris Eames, math, Jamestown
  • Suzan McCorry, theater, Lafayette
  • Katie Maclauchlan, English, Warhill