Prince George County Public Schools Selects David A. Harrison Elementary Learning Specialist Candace Adair as District’s 2023 Teacher of the Year Award Recipient

April 24, 2023
Candace M. Adair, a learning specialist at David A. Harrison Elementary School has been selected as Prince George County Public Schools’ 2023 Division Teacher of the Year during a special ceremony hosted at Prince George High School on Monday, April 24, 2023.
A fixture of the Harrison Elementary community for nearly a decade, Adair served as a special education paraprofessional at the Disputanta campus before completing coursework to earn her bachelor’s degree. Adair, being dually endorsed to teach both special education and elementary education, has most recently taught kindergarten through second-grade students with disabilities at Harrison Elementary, while also serving as co-chair of the school’s special education department.
Adair with Pennycuff and Smith
“I am extremely honored to have been selected by my colleagues as Teacher of the Year for Harrison Elementary and as the division’s Teacher of the Year,” Candace Adair said. “I feel honored each day to work alongside such talented teachers who dedicate themselves to our students. To me, this recognition means that my coworkers recognize the time and dedication it takes to meet the individual needs of my students and as well acknowledge and appreciate the support I provide to the teachers I collaborate with.”
“Mrs. Adair’s students and parents respect, care, and admire her, and she makes it a priority to build relationships with each of them,” David. A. Harrison Elementary School Principal Christopher M. Scruggs said. “She has been a valuable representative of our school team, advocating for a variety of resources that will support the social and emotional needs of our students while promoting positive behaviors at school. Her colleagues trust her knowledge and value her suggestions for promoting student success.”
When asked about a special memory from the 2022-23 School Year, Adair reflected on her students’ excitement when sharing their creations during the school’s Project-Based Learning Night. 
“Nothing compares to how rewarding it is to watch your students learn and apply phonological skills, opening up the world of reading to them,” Candace Adair shared. “It was extremely rewarding to watch them take such an interest in our topic, delve into their projects with vigor and excitement, and take pride in their work. In addition, I would have to say that each day holds a special memory for me as I watch my students progress, especially in the area of reading.”
"We are proud to recognize Mrs. Candace Adair as Prince George County Public Schools' Division Teacher of the Year," Division Superintendent Dr. Lisa Pennycuff said. "The contributions Mrs. Adair has made to the Harrison Elementary community have been lasting, impactful, and helping us to grow children who will want to be lifelong learners.. Her ability to foster relationships with her students, families, and colleagues and a desire to grow professionally has made Mrs. Adair a role model for the Harrison community and our district. We are grateful to Mrs. Adair and each of our Teacher of the Year award winners for dedicating their life's work to supporting the children of Prince George County, our true north."
"The Prince George School Board celebrates Mrs. Candace Adair as Prince George County Public Schools' Teacher of the Year, and each of the men and women who have been honored across our district as their school’s Teacher of the Year recipients," Prince George School Board Chairman Cecil M. Smith said. "Every year, our board is moved by the stories we hear from our students, staff, and community about the things PGCPS educators are doing to support the children of Prince George County, embodying our district’s mission - To engage, encourage, and inspire every child, every day. We appreciate the dedicated work of our Teacher of the Year award recipients and congratulate them on receiving this honor."
group photo
Annually, PGCPS' schools and support facilities select their Teacher and Support Employee 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 Teacher and Support Employee of the Year later in the spring. During the Monday, April 24, 2023, Prince George School Board meeting, the following teachers and instructional team members were recognized as Teachers of the Year at their respective locations:
  • Laura Audino, L.L. Beazley Elementary School
  • Candace Adair, D.A. Harrison Elementary School
  • Jessica Lee, Middle Road Elementary School
  • Gretchen Farmer-Hancock, North Elementary School
  • Jennifer Lowe, South Elementary School
  • Beth Balazik, Prince George Education Center
  • Rebecca Stroop, J.E.J. Moore Middle School
  • Lara Luebbers, N.B. Clements Junior High School
  • Philip Jones, Jr., Prince George High School
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