May 17, 2022
Mrs. Shawn Holt, a physical education teacher at William A. Walton Elementary School has been selected as Prince George County Public Schools’ 2022 Teacher of the Year. The Teacher of the Year honor recognizes the educators whose efforts help support the instructional and socioemotional needs of the children of Prince George County.
William A. Walton Elementary School physical education teacher Shawn Holt celebrates being named PGCPS 2022 Division Teacher of the Year during the Monday, May 16, 2022, Prince George School Board Meeting.
Teaching at Walton Elementary, Mrs. Holt served an important role in the lives of students as they returned to in-person learning following the nearly two years of hybrid learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Upon their return, Mrs. Holt helped students rekindle their love of physical education and being active with their classmates. She also helped them regain lost learning and fostered emotional connections during their return to campus, many of whom had been away from their educational homes since March of 2020.
Mrs. Holt has been part of the Prince George County Public Schools family for 21 years, teaching at N.B. Clements Junior High School for 18 years before transitioning to Walton Elementary, serving their community for the last three years. She has been teaching for a total of 30 years.
“I am blessed beyond measure to be part of the Walton staff,” Holt said. “I truly feel undeserving because I want everyone at Walton to be honored in this way. It takes everyone at Walton working together for the love and support of our students to help our Eagles learn to fly and soar. Every day at Walton, we work together! I thank the Lord for allowing me to be part of a school and school division that loves our students and supports each other in helping all of our students meet their full potential.”
“Mrs. Holt is an exceptional educator and we are honored to have her as Walton Elementary’s 2022 Teacher of the Year,” Walton Elementary School Principal Chrystal Barnwell said. “During Mrs. Holt’s three years at Walton, I have observed that she radiates passion and a zest for learning that is reflected in how she communicates with her students, and how they respond to her instructional delivery. She is always researching and employing instructional methods that intrigue and inspire her students. Mrs. Holt productively supports and collaborates with her colleagues, offering sound advice that undoubtedly transforms instruction and support. She also takes time out to build a sense of community in our learning environment.”
When asked about a special memory from the 2021-22 School Year, Holt reflected on an interaction with a young student.
"I was leading my 2nd graders in a warm-up. Little Sophia raised her hand in the middle of the warm-up and said, 'Mrs. Holt, I want to be a P.E. teacher just like you when I grow up,'" Holt shared. "Her smile and sincerity melted my heart! Just knowing that my students not only enjoy our P.E. classes but are inspired to want to continue to positively impact future generations in education is rewarding."
“We are proud to celebrate Mrs. Holt as our Division Teacher of the Year,” Superintendent Dr. Lisa Pennycuff said. “Our teachers play a significant role in helping our students return to a sense of normalcy in their lives during these extraordinary times. As we welcomed all of our students back to class, teachers like Mrs. Holt were there with welcoming smiles as our children returned to learning. Through their efforts, they helped our children not only regain lost learning, but thrive in their educational journey. We are thankful to Mrs. Holt and each of our Teacher of the Year award recipients for supporting the children of Prince George County, our true north.”
“On behalf of the Prince George School Board, I congratulate Mrs. Holt on being selected as Prince George County Public Schools’ Division Teacher of the Year, and all those recognized across the division,” Prince George School Board Chairman Chris Johnson said. “The last two years have presented challenges to educators as they adapted to new methods of teaching and engaging students in-person and virtually. As we returned to in-person learning this school year, Mrs. Holt and her colleagues were instrumental in supporting our students’ educational and emotional needs. Our board appreciates Mrs. Holt and all of our Teacher of the Year recipients at each of our schools.”
Annually, PGCPS' schools and support facilities select their Support Employee and Teacher of the Year following a nomination and selection process in late winter. These men and women are then entered for potential selection as the division's Support Employee or Teacher of the Year later in the spring. During the Monday, May 16th, Prince George School Board meeting, the following teachers and instructional team members were recognized as Teachers of the Year at their respective locations:
- Kristen Schwalm, L.L. Beazley Elementary School
- Jennifer Mallory, David A. Harrison Elementary School
- Karen Pannill, North Elementary School
- Sarah Foote, South Elementary School
- Shawn Holt, William A. Walton Elementary School
- Laura Tarnaski, J.E.J. Moore Middle School
- Brittany Watson, N.B. Clements Junior High School
- Bonnie Vedomske, Prince George Education Center
- Sydnee Turner, Prince George High School
Joined by family, friends, administrators, and the Prince George School Board, Prince George County Public Schools’ Teacher of the Year recipients were honored during the Monday, May 16, 2022, regular school board meeting.
Our community is invited to learn more about our Teacher of the Year award recipients by visiting the district’s website and reading profiles showcasing each educator. They can be found by visiting http://www.pgs.k12.va.us/apps/news/.