Bird teacher wins Air Force Association’s State Teacher of the Year award

A year after being named Chesterfield County Public School’s Teacher of the Year, Dr. Nancy Hoover is the recipient of the Air Force Association’s State Teacher of the Year award.

“It’s an amazing honor,” said Hoover, coordinator of the Governor’s Academy for Engineering Studies at L.C. Bird High School. “Besides being honored by peers and colleagues, I can’t think of anybody else that would be more meaningful to get some recognition from than our military personnel.”

Hoover, who has taught at Bird since 2000, the year she transferred from Bailey Bridge Middle, is in her 15th year in education, teaching STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). She took over as coordinator of the program in 2005 when Dr. Beth Teigen took over as Bird’s head principal; the two have been working together under the same roof ever since.

 Teigen said Hoover is a “team player” and “student-centered” because she is continually working to improve the program’s courses and the quality of experience her students receive. Agreeing that she is an asset to the school, Teigen commends Hoover for her ability to constantly reflect on the program, subsequently making positive changes to benefit the students’ learning experience.  

“Dr. Hoover is never satisfied with the status quo,” said Teigen. “She knows there is always room for improvement, and she looks for opportunities to make positive changes. Her ultimate goal is for each student to be well prepared for the future they want to pursue. She goes above and beyond expectations every day.”    

Jim White, a retired Colonel in the Air Force and the vice president of the local Air Force Association’s Leigh-Wade chapter – the chapter who bestowed the award – has come to know Hoover on a personal level through his position as the vice president of education for the association. His job is to find teachers in the area with involvements in STEM.
 He recalls being impressed with her speech when she received the award in Danville, Va., on Saturday, June 4, and shared with the audience recent projects and the achievements of the students in the pre-engineering program.                

 “It was well received; after it was finished we could see why she won,” said White.

 Leader of both the Rocketry and Robotics clubs at Bird, Hoover is also the leader of the first ever Air Force Association Club, the first of its kind in the US. She also coordinates camps in the summer, introducing young ladies into STEM. “She serves as a role model,” said White, “but she also brings in people who can talk about the various aspects of it and give these young ladies an opportunity to say, ‘Yeah I can be competitive here and it shouldn’t be just for boys.’ ”

 “Our future, our tomorrow,” said Hoover, “sits in the classroom of today, and we’ve got to be very intentional about making sure today’s classroom is giving kids the skill sets they need, so they can make sure our tomorrow is bright.”


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