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Teaching & Learning PartnershipsClinical Faculty Member of the Year Award

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Students walking outside near Brock Commons.


The Office of Clinical Experiences and the Department of Teaching and Learning have partnered to create a Clinical Faculty of the Year award to recognize the good work of the teachers in schools mentoring and coaching Old Dominion University teacher candidates. Specifically, this award recognizes two teachers in grades P-12 who worked with an Old Dominion University teacher candidate during a student teaching experience in the past academic year. University supervisors who supervise student teachers, Old Dominion University faculty members, and the student teachers themselves were asked to nominate clinical faculty during the fall and spring semesters.


2020-2021 Award Recipients


Each year, the Office of Clinical Experiences at Old Dominion University solicits nominations for Clinical Faculty Members of the Year. The winners are selected by the Interim Director of the Office of Clinical Experiences, Dr. Valerie Taylor, and the co-chairs of the School-University Partnership Committee: Ms. Jennessa Libby-Reynolds and Dr. Jori Beck. We are pleased to announce the awardees for the 2020-2021 school year!


Leah Donohue, Salem High School, Virginia Beach City Public Schools

Leah is currently a Spanish Teacher at Salem High School in Virginia Beach. In her 17 years of teaching Spanish, she has mentored new teachers as student teachers and new teachers to the profession. She loves to help future teachers figure out who they are as teachers and empower them to take ownership of that role. In her nomination, Leah's nominator noted that she believed in her teacher candidate and provided an environment in which it was acceptable to make mistakes and grow.


Rhonda Hawks, Chalkley Elementary School, Chesterfield County Public Schools

Rhonda has been teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) for ten years and had the privilege to work with and mentor a student teacher in fall 2020. She created a safe but challenging atmosphere to help her student teaching intern develop the teaching skills that are necessary for student success in all of today's classrooms including in-person, virtual, and hybrid. Rhonda's nominator was impressed with how she facilitated reflective conversations about teacher candidate practices.


We would also like to recognize past recipients of this award:

2019-2020: Amy Gortz, Larchmont Elementary School, Norfolk Public Schools and Cherie Parkin, Greenbriar Primary, Chesapeake Public Schools