Archive for September, 2012

MCPS Teacher of the Year to Travel Abroad

September 20, 2012

The 2012 Teacher of the Year for Middlesex County was announced in June. Jamie Wynberry, special education teacher at St. Clare Walker Middle School, won the award after being nominated as the school-level teacher of the year by the SCW staff.

Principal Tracy Seitz says, “Identifying one person in a school of talented and dedicated faculty can be very difficult, but when the staff at SCW identified Jamie Wynberry as the 2012 teacher of the year, I supported their decision 100% and was excited that they also see in their colleague what I see in Jamie. I consider Jamie not just an exceptional special education teacher, but a strong collaborator and a rational voice for our students. Whatever she does, she takes in all of the information and makes decisions based on facts and what is best for our students.”

After winning the SCW award, Wynberry completed portions of the statewide application. MCPS formed a panel to review the three school-level winners, and the panel chose Wynberry as the division-wide Teacher of the Year.

Although Wynberry was proclaimed winner months ago, the excitement from the award continues. MCPS received funding through the Virginia School University Partnership, which will allow Wynberry and two administrators to travel to Finland and Paris in November. In Finland, the group will study the education system which has become known as one of the elite in the world.

When asked about her reaction to winning, Wynberry explains, “When it was announced that I had won teacher of the year, I didn’t even hear the rest of the announcement about there being a trip involved. I was in total shock, and the tears immediately started to flow. What an honor to be recognized among some of the most compassionate and effective teachers anywhere! I have personal and professional connections with many Middlesex County teachers, and I know my own children are receiving and will continue to receive the best education possible. I am honored and thrilled to represent these great teachers.”

Wynberry states she doesn’t really know what to expect on the trip because she’s never been outside the United States. “I never envisioned myself as being one who would have this type of opportunity.” She is looking forward to the chance to visit and learn about many attractions in Paris.

In addition, Wynberry will be participating in seminars and presentations in Finland highlighting their education system. “This is extremely intriguing to me as well. The chance for me to learn about how other cultures view education and the processes involved will be the great learning experience of the trip.”

Seitz feels the trip will benefit MCPS. She explains, “I am excited that she will also be experiencing what I consider this ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to travel to Finland to to explore their educational system. I quite often go to Jamie as the ‘voice of reason’ in the building and I know that what we will learn on this adventure she will take the time to analyze and have immediate suggestions on how we can implement it at SCW and division.”

Wynberry feels this is an experience which will positively affect her future as an educator. She states, “Embracing new experiences as an opportunity to learn is something that we can all take advantage of regardless of ability, socioeconomic status, or any other factor out of our control.” Wynberry believes this experience will help her encourage her students to see the opportunities for growth and knowledge in all they do.

We look forward to sharing pictures and reactions to the trip in early December!

MCPS Welcomes New Teachers

September 10, 2012

The 2012-2013 school year has begun, and two Middlesex schools are excited to welcome new teachers to their faculty. Each of these individuals will be a valuable addition to our MCPS family.


In addition to a new principal and assistant principal, Amy Stamm and Jessica Davis, MES is also proud to add the following new faculty members:

Amanda Chase
As the new Library Media Specialist at MES, Amanda Chase plans to “engage the students in their reading adventures and research abilities.” Chase graduated from Longwood College in 1984. Her educational employment began at Chesapeake Academy in Irvington where she taught first grade, physical education, keyboarding, and served as librarian. While obtaining her master’s degree in School Library Media from Longwood University, Chase worked as a paraprofessional and substitute teacher in Lancaster County. After graduate school, she became librarian at Cople Elementary School in Westmoreland County. With Chase at MES, “the students will be learning to type and use technology in inventive ways for reports and projects.”

Bailey Harrow
A native of Middlesex County, Bailey Harrow returns to MCPS as an 3rd grade teacher. During her high school education at MHS, Harrow participating in the Teachers for Tomorrow program, and she has also been a substitute teacher in Middlesex during her college career. Harrow earned her master’s degree in Elementary Education from James Madison University. Harrow claims, “As a first year teacher, I plan to take many opportunities to grow professionally in order to provide my students with a positive learning experience.” Harrow plans for her classroom to be full of excitement, learning, and discovery for both her students and herself.

Lauren McNamee
Also a former graduate of MHS, Lauren McNamee returns to Middlesex after graduating from Radford University with a degree in Elementary Education. McNamee will be teaching 4th grade students this year at MES where her hope is to “create positive and meaningful relationships with my students to help encourage them to achieve their goals and succeed.” In her free time, McNamee enjoys reading and spending time with family and friends. She also loves spending time on the beautiful water in the area.

Sara Spain
Originally from Chesterfield, Virginia, Sara Spain joins MES as a 4th grade teacher. Spain graduated from Radford University with a degree in Elementary Education in May 2012. This year, Spain’s plans include “keeping my students actively engaged in learning and relating their learning to the real world.” She is looking forward to this year and growing with her students. During her spare time, Spain enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

Gina Villano
Gina Villano recently moved to Virginia from Downingtown, Pennsylvania, a suburban town outside Philadelphia, and she is excited to be a 5th grade teacher this year at MES. After high school, Villano attended Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania where she studied Elementary Education and Mathematics. Following college, she spent time working as a substitute teacher and a summer camp director. As a first year teacher, Villano plans to “establish a solid base of academic practiced to improve myself as a professional.” She is confident her students will learn as much from her as she will from them.


At MHS, Jeannie Duke has taken over the reins as principal. She and her assistant, Susan Leggett, welcome the following to the high school faculty:

Douglas Goddard
Douglas Goddard graduated with an English degree from Eastern Washington University and was involved in the construction business for forty years. Goddard’s goal is to “continue the woodworking legacy here in Middlesex.” While doing this, he will also be setting up the HVAC program for Bridging Communities in New Kent County. Ultimately, he plans for his students to build a Habitat for Humanity home. Goddard has been married for 40 years (though he claims to only have to buy a gift every four years because his anniversary is on February 29), and he has two daughters and one granddaughter. At one time, Goddard worked as the club pro at a golf course in Spokane, but he gave away all of his golf clubs and fishing gear before he moved. Now in Middlesex, he says, “I guess I need to buy new.”

Amy Lamb
Amy Lamb has worked in public education for 26 years with 24 spent teaching and supervising mathematics. Lamb earned her degree in Elementary Education from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from VCU. Lamb will join MHS in the mathematics department, and she claims her “all-time absolute favorite professional activity is teaching algebra and geometry to young adults.” In addition to teaching at MHS, Lamb also teaches mathematics part-time at Rappahannock Community College. Lamb lives in Northumberland County with her husband, John “Catfish” Lamb, Jr., and her 14-year-old son, Paul. Lamb says as a cancer survivor, she is “very happy to be here!”

Stephanie Luckett
Another native of Middlesex County, Stephanie Luckett also joins the math department at MHS. After receiving her master’s degree at James Madison University, Luckett taught at New Kent High School. Two months ago, she married James, owner of a landscaping and tree-removal business. They are the proud parents of a 4-month-old black Lab puppy. Luckett spent most of her summer canning vegetables, doing crafts, and helping her husband with his business. She says, “Needless to say, I like to get my hands dirty and in teaching this helps me to expand my teaching style.” Luckett welcomes criticism and suggestions to make her classroom better and enjoys cross-curricular projects and lessons. She says, “I am here for the students to do the best they can, and you may see me here late at night to reach this goal.”

Jamie Somerville
A familiar face in Middlesex has moved to MHS from SCW this year. Jamie Somerville will teach government and U.S. history after spending four years teaching civics, history, and science at the middle school level. Somerville, along with his wife who teaches at SCW, moved to Virginia six years ago from Northern Michigan where he grew up skiing, hiking, biking, playing basketball, and swimming in Lake Michigan. Somerville is an avid runner and recently competed in his third marathon where he qualified for the Boston Marathon. Somerville says he is “thrilled to be at MHS.”

Rob Specketer
Rob Specketer graduated from James Madison University in May. As the new MHS band director, Specketer says, “I am very excited to be on board, and I’m ready to get rolling!” He is a huge fan of the Washington Capitals and tries to attend a few games every season. As a newcomer to Middlesex, Specketer says he is constantly looking for opportunities to get out of his little apartment in Deltaville and would welcome any suggestions of exciting things to do. If you ever visit MHS, he welcomes chats in his office in the band room.


September 10, 2012

Welcome to the Middlesex County Public Schools blog. Each week, articles will be published to share information about our school division, the teachers, instructional practices, athletics, awards, and other important educational news. Please follow the blog to keep up-to-date about our schools.

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