Henrico County Public Schools have awarded this year’s Teacher of the Year to Pulaski native Taylor Snow. Alexandra Mendez-Zfass received the First-Year Teacher of the Year award.
“I was absolutely shocked when I found out that I had won,” Snow said. “I work in a great school in a great school system. To have been chosen among the thousands of teachers in Henrico was humbling.”
Snow graduated from Pulaski County High School in 2001.
“I spent all 13 years of my K-12 education in Pulaski County and learned so much from the amazing teachers I had at Draper Elementary, Pulaski Middle, and PCHS,” Snow said. “These folks, along with Dr. Kevin Harris who was the principal at Carroll County Intermediate when I taught there and is now the superintendent at Floyd County, taught me everything I know about teaching whether they realized they were doing so or not.”
Snow then continued his education at the College of William and Mary, and received his masters at the University of Richmond.
“I’d always had at least a little bit of an idea that teaching was something I was interested in,” Snow said. “Due largely to the fact that I saw how committed to her work at PCHS that my mom was. I decided to become a teacher after spending a summer doing summer school at Critzer working with Valerie Johnston. I was an aid for four students and absolutely loved everything I did that year.”
Now Snow is a social studies teacher at Moody Middle School.
“My favorite activity I do year after year is an activity where, to model the development of government in Athens, I assign students roles to play based on their roles in Greek society and they perform these roles, like monarch, aristocrat, tyrant, etc., by playing music for the class from my computer,” Snow said. “The students really seem to enjoy this.”
Gilman Teacher of the Year is an annual event that rewards teachers from across the country for their commitment to education. Teachers are nominated by their schools, and a panel of administrators and specialists judge their applications. The group judges applications based one on a point system fro evidence of professional development, school and community activities, participation in professional organizations, and a personal essay. Finally, five teachers, one from each district, are nominated for the Gilman Teacher of the Year honor. Nominees are interviewed by the panel, and then the winner is declared.