Virginia’s Region IV Teacher of the Year is a Sweet Briar alumna

Sweet Briar College graduate Heidi Trude ’07 is one of eight teachers in the running for Virginia’s 2017 Teacher of the Year award, which will be announced Oct. 17. Trude was named the Region IV Teacher of the Year during a surprise ceremony at Skyline High School in Front Royal yesterday.

Heidi Trude (center) and her students celebrate her award after a surprise announcement Tuesday morning.

“I am honored to be the recipient of this prestigious award,” said Trude, who has been teaching French at Skyline High since 2008.

Earlier this year, Trude was tapped to participate in the 2016 American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) Future Leaders program in Austin, Texas, which took place June 30-July 7. Trude is a Google Certified Educator and has collected many honors over the last few years, including the “Rotary Teacher of the Year” award and an “Energizer Bunny Award.”

“I always look for the best in my students, [and] I like to incorporate active learning and differentiated instruction,” she said.

Warren County Superintendent Greg Drescher said Trude is the first teacher in his county to receive the award, according to an article in The Northern Virginia Daily.

All eight recipients for this year’s statewide teacher award demonstrated “integrity in their profession” and a commitment to “[inspiring] their students to high achievement,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples in a press release issued by the Virginia Department of Education.

“These educators are recognized as leaders in their field, setting examples academically and personally among their peers and within their classrooms.”

The teachers were selected from among candidates nominated by school divisions in each of the state’s eight superintendents’ regions. The candidates submitted portfolios highlighting their accomplishments, educational philosophies and community activities.

A panel, including classroom teachers, representatives of professional and educational associations, the business community and 2016 Virginia Teacher of the Year Natalie DiFusco-Funk reviewed the portfolios and selected the eight regional teachers of the year.

Next month, the same panel will interview each of the eight regional teachers to select the 2017 Virginia Teacher of the Year. The decision will be announced on Oct. 17 during a ceremony at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond.

The 2017 Virginia Teacher of the Year will be the commonwealth’s nominee in the National Teacher of the Year Program.