3 local educators honored with state and national awards

Teachers across the region are already being awarded this year for their remarkable work in the classroom.

students in classroom
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It’s no secret that Northern Virginia is filled with students; the region is very family-friendly, after all. Each year, school board members must make tough decisions about where to build new schools, how to keep curricula moving forward and how to best accommodate students, teachers, faculty and staff. 

But despite all of the potential changes every school year, one thing that remains the same across the region are the award-winning teachers. Here, get to know a few educators who have already been honored in 2020. 

On Jan. 6, Tobin Traxler of Leesylvania Elementary in Woodbridge was named the Virginia Computer Science Educator of the Year. The instructional technology coach leads the school’s robotics club and has integrated coding techniques into the school’s everyday curriculum. Traxler was chosen out of more than 40 other computer science educators across the commonwealth. 

On Feb. 10, Tara Taylor of Fairfax County Public Schools was honored by the Virginia Thespians (an affiliate of the Educational Theatre Association) as Administrator of the Year for 2020. The theater and dance educational specialist for FCPS is a former actress with Broadway dreams who now uses her passion to encourage and enrich the next generation of performers. 

On Feb. 14, Erinn Harris of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology was named the 2020 National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. Harris has been the yearbook adviser and photojournalism teacher at the local high school since 2008, and has overseen the school newspaper since 2013. She has also received more than eight other teaching awards throughout her career. 

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