Adria Cintron, an 8th grade English teacher at Woodrow Wilson Middle School, was named the Roanoke City Public Schools 2023 Teacher of the Year during the annual Teacher of the Year celebration held at the Jefferson Center Tuesday, Nov. 29. The event celebrated all schools’ Teachers of the Year and included naming the other finalists: 2nd place finalist: Kara Jennings, Fishburn Park Elementary School, Special Education Teacher; 3rd place finalist: Laura Hill, Wasena Elementary School, 5th Grade Teacher.
Superintendent Verletta White commended the 28 schools’ Teachers of the Year for all they do to support their students. “You are a shining example that when ‘We Are One,’ our students are able to do inspiring and amazing things because we help them to understand the possibilities,” she said.
A committee made up of Roanoke City Public Schools employees, retirees, and last year’s Teacher of the Year reviewed the Teacher of the Year nominations and selected the finalists and RCPS Teacher of the Year.
The judges commented that all three finalists exemplified what teachers in Roanoke City Public Schools do best: they exceed expectations in ensuring the success of their students academically, socially, and emotionally, as well as preparing them for future success. The judges were particularly struck by Cintron’s recognition that education, like the rest of the world, is changing, and that teachers need to continue to grow and change with the world.
Cintron has 25 years of teaching experience across multiple grade levels and subjects. She has worked in Roanoke City Public Schools for six years, teaching students who are English Learners (EL) at John P. Fishwick Middle School and later Woodrow Wilson Middle School before transitioning into 8th grade English at Woodrow Wilson Middle School during the 2022-2023 school year. Cintron earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida and has a master’s degree from East Carolina University.
Throughout her career, her passion has focused on building literacy and community.
“I still have as much enthusiasm in year 25 as I had in year one,” Cintron said. “It does not matter if they remember my name, but that they remember the relationships — what you did for them or how you left them feeling.”
Cintron is the founder and leader of Woodrow Wilson’s Literacy Committee, which has organized two Literacy Nights for families. She also serves as her school’s spelling bee coordinator; is the leader of an ongoing Community Writing Project that works in tandem with other content areas and the Local Colors Foundation; has created an afterschool tutoring program; and was head of Woodrow Wilson’s EL Program from 2018 until 2022.
Cintron received a $1,000 check from Teacher of the Year sponsor Member One Federal Credit Union. She will now compete for Region 6 Teacher of the Year. Other Teacher of the Year sponsors included second-place sponsor ESS and third-place sponsors Hughes Associates Architects & Engineers and Trane.
Roanoke City Public Schools has traditionally held its Teacher of the Year banquet in the spring; however, the Virginia Department of Education changed the timeline for “Teacher of the Year” which necessitated a shift to a fall event this year and going forward.