Teacher holding flowers

Kate Doctor, who teaches in the Health Professions and Therapies Specialty Center at Monacan High, is the Chesterfield County Teacher of the Year.

Every Chesterfield County school annually selects its Teacher of the Year. Chesterfield County Public Schools selects from those honorees an Elementary School Teacher of the Year, a Middle School Teacher of the Year and a High School Teacher of the Year, then chooses the districtwide Teacher of the Year from those three honorees. Kate Doctor now moves forward to compete for Region 1 Teacher of the Year honors through the Virginia Department of Education.

“In every school and at every level, certain teachers stand out. These teachers demonstrate care and compassion, stress the importance of rigor and relationships and do the extra things necessary to help move our students toward success. They are committed to being game changers,” Superintendent Mervin Daugherty wrote in letters he presented to the district’s top Teachers of the Year, along with flowers, balloons, banners and cakes during surprise visits today to announce these awards:

  • Kate Doctor is the Chesterfield County Teacher of the Year and High School Teacher of the Year.
  • Maureen Capel, first grade teacher at Wells Elementary, is the Elementary School Teacher of the Year.
  • Emily Skipper, math teacher at Providence Middle, is the Middle School Teacher of the Year.

Each of the top Teachers of the Year — Doctor, Capel and Skipper — graduated from Chesterfield County high schools.

Chesterfield County Teacher of the Year and High School Teacher of the Year Kate Doctor of Monacan High

In the Health Professions and Therapies Specialty Center at Monacan High, Kate Doctor teaches sports medicine, exercise science and introduction to health and medical science. She discovered her passion for education while working as a certified athletic trainer and has taught in Chesterfield County Public Schools since 2005.

Monacan High Principal William Broyles praised Doctor’s ability to motivate students by connecting real-world experiences with classroom instruction: “The encouragement and energy Ms. Doctor puts forth in working through difficult scientific material is unmistakable. … [And] she will draw on a wealth of professional connections to develop seminars and utilize guest presenters. Her work doesn’t stop in the academic classroom either as she is dedicated to working with her students in the HOSA [Future Health Professionals] co-curricular program at the school, state, and national levels. … Her work with the HOSA students … develops leaders who are confident in their knowledge, ability to present, and lead.”

A Midlothian High School graduate, Doctor earned a bachelor’s degree in athletic training from East Carolina University and a bachelor’s degree in education from Virginia Commonwealth University. In her Teacher of the Year essay, Doctor wrote that she seeks to provide opportunities for learning beyond the classroom: “It is now a rite of passage in our specialty center program for students that take my sports medicine classes to work home football games. They all know that they will get the chance to shadow our school’s certified athletic trainer, help set up and breakdown equipment for the game, experience pregame preparations like taping, treatments, and rehab for athletes, and run water bottles out onto the field during timeouts. They …  also experience the thrill of being on the sidelines and in the middle of all of the action, a privilege most students will never have.”

Chesterfield County Public Schools Teacher of the Year is not the only 2023 award Doctor has won. She was recently  selected as Athletic Training Educator of the Year by the Virginia Athletic Trainers’ Association — the first time the award has gone to a secondary school educator.

Elementary School Teacher of the Year Maureen Capel of Wells Elementary

Maureen Capel grew up in Chesterfield County and graduated from Bird High School. After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University, she began teaching in Chesterfield County Public Schools in 2006. Since 2017, she has taught first grade at Wells Elementary.

She wrote of her teaching philosophy in her Teacher of the Year essay: “I truly ascribe to the belief that learning flows naturally once a student senses he/she is in a place of acceptance, love, belonging and security. Every single morning for the first fifteen to twenty minutes, we begin our day in the same manner with a Morning Meeting … to demonstrate to our class that we are a classroom family and there’s nothing more important than starting our day together as a community. It is the single most impactful part of our day, as it sets the tone for all other activities.”

Middle School Teacher of the Year Emily Skipper of Providence Middle

Emily Skipper also grew up in Chesterfield County and graduated from Bird High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Longwood University and her master’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. She began her teaching career in 2017 at Providence Middle, where she teaches seventh grade math.

In her Teacher of the Year essay, she detailed her commitment to meeting students’ social and emotional needs as well as academic needs: “I aim to meet students where they are and have them not just master the curriculum, but grow in their understanding and confidence in math. … Each year I aim to adapt to the variety of needs in my classroom academically, socially, and emotionally. I am not afraid to incorporate new ideas or activities to stay clear of a static classroom. … As I have gained experience teaching, I have found it is important to not think there is a one size fits all model for all students and classes.”

Teachers of the Year from every Chesterfield County school

Chesterfield County virtual schools

CCPSOnline: Aimee West Chesterfield Virtual School: Heather Cox

Chesterfield County elementary schools

Bellwood Elementary: Mike Dunn Bensley Elementary: Shayna White Beulah Elementary: Alyssa Taylor Bon Air Elementary: Stephanie Knost Chalkley Elementary: Carrie Evers Chester Early Childhood Learning Academy: Cheryl Kashmer Marguerite Christian Elementary: Tenai Bullock Clover Hill Elementary: Candice January Crenshaw Elementary: Robyn Will Crestwood Elementary: Dylan Pearman-Hurt Curtis Elementary: Emily Wolfe Davis Elementary: Katharine Price Ecoff Elementary: Melissa Miles Enon Elementary: Catherine Kotalo Ettrick Elementary: Megan Parrish Evergreen Elementary: Jennifer Ziegler Falling Creek Elementary: Brianna Branch Gates Elementary: Lisa Holt Gordon Elementary: Cheryl Seaton Grange Hall Elementary: Corinne Begg Greenfield Elementary: Elizabeth Bryant Harrowgate Elementary: Fred Klevinsky Hening Elementary: Shannon McBryde Hopkins Elementary: Brooke Pega Jacobs Road Elementary: Noreen Ingram Matoaca Elementary: Christine Harrold Moseley Elementary: Emily Spangler Old Hundred Elementary: Adrienne Haskins Providence Elementary: Angela Ramey Reams Road Elementary: Pamela Brown Robious Elementary: Kayleen Lawrence Salem Church Elementary: Dana Loy-Anderson Elizabeth Scott Elementary: Erin Mallory Alberta Smith Elementary: Liz Cruz Spring Run Elementary: Kathryn Bott Swift Creek Elementary: Mary Davison Watkins Elementary: Glenda MacNeil Bettie Weaver Elementary: Shannon Magne Wells Elementary: Maureen Capel Winterpock Elementary: Leigh Ann Pruitt Woolridge Elementary: Brittany Read

Chesterfield County middle schools

Bailey Bridge Middle: Laura Davenport Carver Middle: Stephanye Jackson Elizabeth Davis Middle: Synthia Atkinson Falling Creek Middle: Eboni Brown Manchester Middle: Tiffany Newbill Matoaca Middle: Stephanie Burton Midlothian Middle: Lauren Kern Providence Middle: Emily Skipper Robious Middle: Brian Lukanich Salem Church Middle: David Stewart Swift Creek Middle: Suzanne Buckley Tomahawk Creek Middle: Olivia Slagle

Chesterfield County high schools

Bird High: Kara Boltz Career and Technical Center @ Courthouse: Stevette Carter Career and Technical Center @ Hull: Colleen Coleman Carver College and Career Academy: Jennifer Gunderson Chesterfield Detention Center: Gary Haney Clover Hill High: Mary “Pat” Kretzer Cosby High: Mark Holland Thomas Dale High: Justice Thompson James River High: Cornell Core Manchester High: Chad Long Matoaca High: Rachel Heideman Meadowbrook High: Georgina Street Midlothian High: Daniel Abell Monacan High: Kate Doctor