L.C. Bird High School’s Dr. Nancy Hoover was recently named the 2011 Teacher of the Year for Chesterfield County Public Schools.
Hoover, who teaches physics and engineering, is the specialty center coordinator for the Governor’s Academy for Engineering Studies at Bird High.
“She is just a master teacher who is such a good role model, not only for the students, but for other teachers in the building,” Bird High Principal Beth Teigen last week. “She gives so much.”
Hoover works with the robotics teams and the rocketry team, she said, and “she teaches pretty much a full load of classes.” She also developed a three-year engineering program for students, said Teigen, who’s worked with Hoover for 10 years.
“I can’t say enough good about her,” she said. “She’s just an amazing individual.”
Hoover earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 1996 and her doctorate in 2009 from Virginia Commonwealth University. She began teaching physical science in 1996 at Bailey Bridge Middle School.
In 2000, Hoover said, she moved to Bird High to teach physics to ninth-grade students, among other courses. In 2005, she took on the additional duties of specialty center coordinator.
As coordinator, Hoover has a wide variety of responsibilities, she said, including supporting the program’s teachers, doing a little bit of curriculum development and fostering contacts with the business community. Communicating with businesses helps ensure that the academy is doing all it can to prepare students and identify opportunities for them, she said.
Hoover was quick to point out that Teigen had a significant hand in developing the three-year engineering program, which helped the specialty center earn the Governor’s Academy designation. The three-year option also opens doors for students who, for one reason or another, did not apply to the specialty center while in eighth grade, Hoover said.
She was in the middle of administering an exam when she was surprised with the news that she’d earned this year’s honor.
“Being able to share that moment with the students, that was very special,” she said. And, Teigen had alerted Hoover’s mother, father, husband and children, who were also on hand for the surprise, she said.
“It’s such an honor,” she said. “I’m so humbled. … I think there are amazing teachers in Bird High School. I know there are also amazing teachers across the county.
“I love what I do, and I’m fortunate enough to be able to do the job that I do because I have a very supportive husband and family.”
Hoover has had several careers, and didn’t start teaching until she was 40, she said.
“I really think teaching is what I’m supposed to be doing, and it looks like other people do, too,” she said.
Annually, each Chesterfield school selects a Teacher of the Year, according to information from CCPS. This year, for the first time, CCPS selected from those honorees an Elementary School Teacher of the Year, a Middle School Teacher of the Year and a High School Teacher of the Year, then chose the overall Teacher of the Year from those three honorees. Cynthia Piazza, who teaches Title I math at Harrowgate Elementary, is Chesterfield’s Elementary School Teacher of the Year. Charmaine Crowell-White, who teaches speech and drama at Tomahawk Creek Middle, is Chesterfield’s Middle School Teacher of the Year, according to information from the county.
The next step is submitting Hoover’s nomination to the Virginia Department of Education, which will select eight regional Teachers of the Year, then choose the Virginia Teacher of the Year from the eight regional winners, according to information from CCPS.
Teachers of the Year at area schools include:
Marguerite Christian Elementary
Falling Creek Elementary
Salem Church Elementary
Elizabeth Scott Elementary
Elizabeth Davis Middle
Falling Creek Middle
Salem Church Middle
Chesterfield Community High
Chesterfield Technical Center
Thomas Dale High