Last night, at Chesapeake Public Schools 2017 Teacher of the Year Ceremony
at Indian River High School, 47 stellar teachers were honored for being
selected as their individual school’s Teacher of the Year. At this ceremony, an Elementary School Teacher of the Year, Middle School Teacher of the Year, High School Teacher of the Year, and overall Chesapeake
Teacher of the Year were selected from this pool.
Chesapeake Public Schools is proud to announce the 2017 Elementary Teacher
of the Year – Kristin Garman from G.W. Carver Intermediate School, the 2017 Middle School Teacher of the Year – Jessica Austin from Oscar F. Smith Middle School, the 2017 High School Teacher of the Year – Alicia
White from Grassfield High School, and the 2017 Chesapeake Teacher of the Year – Jahkari Taylor from Oscar F. Smith High School.
Jahkari H. Taylor – Oscar F. Smith High School
Jahkari “J.T.” Taylor, a special education teacher, received his bachelor’s degree from Norfolk State University, his master’s degree from Liberty University, and a second master’s degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served as an expert panelist on the Chesapeake Public Schools New Beginning Teacher Panel for the last seven consecutive years, was a recipient of the Iota Phi Lamba Emerald Educator Award, and authored “Overcoming Burnout: Daily Devotionals to Inspire Teachers.” Currently Jahkari is the sponsor and founder of REEL Mentors Inc. (a mentorship program aimed to help young men develop in the areas of character, academics, and leadership), a member of the CEA, and the Senior Pastor of the Focus Church in Suffolk. He is CEO of Purpose Pushers LLC., a company that provides in-service trainings and seminars to help professionals find purpose in their careers. Jahkari enjoys spending quality time with his family, reading, and engaging in community service projects with his church. He resides in Suffolk with his wife, Shalise, and their four children. Mr. Taylor has 10 years of teaching experience, all of which have been in Chesapeake.
Elementary School Teacher of the Year
Kristin N. Garman – G. W. Carver Intermediate School
Kristin Garman, a fourth-grade special education teacher, received her bachelor’s degree from Liberty University and her master’s degree from Regent University. She was selected as Reading Teacher of the Year in 2011 for Southwestern Elementary School and for G.W. Carver Intermediate School in 2016. Currently she serves as special education grade chair and a beginning teacher mentor. Kristin is a member of the International Literacy Association and Virginia State Reading Association, and is President-Elect of the Chesapeake Reading Council. Kristin enjoys volunteering with the ziMS Foundation, working with the Horizons program, and watching the NY Mets play baseball. She resides in Chesapeake with her pink garden flamingo named Audrey. Ms. Garman has nine years of teaching experience, all of which have been in Chesapeake.P
Middle School Teacher of the Year
Jessica Austin – Oscar F. Smith Middle School
Jessica Austin, a middle school Algebra I teacher, received her bachelor’s degree from Barton College in North Carolina and her master’s degree from The George Washington University. She was the recipient of a School Bell Award in 2005, was named Northside Middle School Teacher of the Year in 2007, and became a National Board Certified Teacher in 2013. Currently Jessica participates in Intramural sports, is a member of the Principals Advisory Committee and the PTA, and serves as the mathematics department chairperson, PBIS coach, and a cooperating teacher. Jessica is a member of the AVID site team and the Parental Involvement Committee at Oscar Smith Middle. She enjoys running in races, reading, and watching her children play sports. She resides in Chesapeake with her husband, Michael, and her three boys, Jonathan, Hunter, and Kaden. Mrs. Austin has 14 years of teaching experience, nine of which have been in Chesapeake.
High School Teacher of the Year
Alicia White – Grassfield High School
Alicia White, a high school mathematics teacher, received her bachelor’s degree from Juniata College in Pennsylvania, her master’s degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and her educational specialist degree from Old Dominion University. She has coached both varsity soccer and field hockey, was chosen as the PTSA Volunteer of the Year in 2015, and was awarded a Chesapeake Educational Foundation grant to use for her Flipped Classroom curriculum. Currently Alicia is the student activities director, student council association sponsor, and United Way coordinator for Grassfield High School. She serves as the Grassfield 10-year committee chair and a freshman seminar mentor. She is a member of the Grassfield Planning Council, the Virginia State Advisory Board, and both the state and national Student Council Advisors Associations. Alicia enjoys giving back to the community through charity work for CHKD and the Lymphoma Research Foundation, spending time with her family, and playing soccer. She resides in Virginia Beach with her husband, Jay, and daughter, Lincoln. Mrs. White has 10 years of teaching experience, all of which have been in Chesapeake.