ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — During a celebration last week, Roanoke City Public Schools named a fourth grade teacher at Westside Elementary, Kristi Martin, as “Teacher of the Year.”

Meanwhile, Eric Roberts, a Title I Resource teacher at Roundhill Elementary School, came in second place while Jeffrey Williams, a Math 8 and Algebra I teacher at Lucy Addison Middle School, came in third place.

Superintendent Verletta White commended the 28 schools’ “Teachers of the Year” for all they do to support their students, saying, “You are a shining example that when we are one, we can do inspiring and amazing things in support of our students.”

According to officials, a committee made of district employees, retirees, and last year’s “Teacher of the Year” reviewed the nominees for this year’s award before selecting the finalists and the 2022 winner.

The judges commented that all three finalists stood out for their exceptional commitment to improving the lives of their students both inside and outside of the classroom, and all showcased a genuine “servant” mindset. Their goals were clearly to prepare their students for success in school and in life by truly meeting student needs so learning can happen. The judges were struck by Ms. Martin’s joy, enthusiasm, and absolute dedication to Roanoke City Public Schools.

Roanoke City Public Schools

The district says Martin has taught at Westside Elementary for 13 years. Before joining Roanoke City Public Schools, she graduated from the University of Virginia and worked for Sylvan Learning and Honey Tree Early Learning Centers.

“Our students need us; it’s what I love, finding out how to solve the challenges,” Martin said. “My students need me and deserve the joy I bring to them as I try to connect them to learning. Roanoke City Public Schools allows teachers to teach in ways to leverage our own strengths on behalf of students. With RCPS teachers, it is truly all hands on deck, working as a team to make our students successful.”

According to school officials, Martin is the fourth grade “Team Leader” at Westside, serves on the School lmprovement Team Committee, and has mentored student teachers and new teachers at Westside. In addition, her classroom has been used to show other teachers in the district how to implement the new reading curriculum, “Wit and Wisdom,” and showcase the curriculum to a neighboring school division and professors from Radford University.

Martin reportedly received a check for $1,000 from “Teacher of the Year” sponsor Member One Federal Credit Union. Now, she is set to compete for Region 6’s “Teacher of the Year.”