2022 District Teachers of the Year

The annual Teacher of the Year district awards ceremony was held in-person at Indian River High School on March 24, 2022. The ceremony was themed “Making Magic in Our Schools”–Celebrating Our Teachers of the Year and honored teachers of the year from each of our 47 schools (click here to view the ceremony program). The ceremony also formally announced our new district, elementary, middle, and high school teachers of the year.

2022 Chesapeake Teacher of the Year is Tim Schneider!

Tim SchneiderMr. Schneider teaches 7th grade English at Great Bridge Middle School. He received his bachelor’s degree from Messiah College in Pennsylvania and master’s degree from Old Dominion University.  He was previously honored as Teacher of the Year in 2006-2007 at Sparrow Road Intermediate.  He serves as the Great Bridge Middle (GBM) teacher representative for vertical alignment and matriculation of rising 5th graders for feeder schools. He also serves on the reading committee at his school. Tim sponsors the SCA; organizes the school talent show, carnival, leadership training, student-staff basketball game, spirit week and other activities for the students. He also leads Wyldlife, a Young Life program, on Tuesday mornings, before school, for over 200 students.

Mr. Schneider’s favorite quote aligns with his approach to the classroom –

“Students don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” – John Maxwell


2022 Elementary School Teacher of the Year is Mary Glaize!

Mary GlaizeMs. Glaize teaches 1st grade at Greenbrier Primary School. She received her bachelor’s degree from California State University Bakersfield in California. Previously, she was awarded 2009 Teacher of the Year for Tanners Creek Elementary in Norfolk.  She also served five years as the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) coach for her school.  Mary participates in the Leadership Committee at Greenbrier Primary, the PBIS team, and the PTA.  She serves as grade level chair, and has been a mentor for new teachers.

Ms. Glaize believes it is important to empower her students to dream big-

“My advice for students is to find strength in yourself and believe you can do anything.  I always tell my struggling students that I was not the best reader or best student in math class.  I needed extra help to get where I needed to be.  Even if it takes you longer, stay the course and believe you can do great things.”


2022 Middle School Teacher of the Year is Esther Barleh-Agyei!

Esther Barleh-AgyeiMs. Barleh-Agyei teaches Life Science at Indian River Middle School. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degree from Old Dominion University in Virginia. She received an award in recognition of outstanding achievement and performance in the promotion of the goals and objectives of educational excellence on behalf of Chesapeake Public Schools in  2018.  Esther also received the  “Mugs and Kisses” award in recognition of being an outstanding employee at Indian River Middle (IRM) in 2011, and the Accelerated Reader Award for achieving improved student scores in reading across the curriculum in 2013.  Esther serves on the Hospitality Committee as well as Enhanced Student and Teacher Assistance Team (ESTAT).

Ms. Barley-Agyei expressed gratitude for her own teachers and how they inspired her to become a teacher. She praises her high school math teacher-

“One of the things I learned from Mrs. Osekre that has strengthened and kept me going in life is “Every problem has a solution. You may not find the solution today, but it is there.” Mrs. Osekre’s contribution to my self-concept about education is one of the reasons why I have managed to come this far in life.  She was the most patient teacher I ever had.  She treated every student with respect and dignity and made learning fun.  This is the type of teacher I try to be for my students.”

2022 High School Teacher of the Year is Joseph Blacketer!

Joseph BlacketerMr. Blacketer teaches social studies at Grassfield High School. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia, master’s degree from Old Dominion University, and is currently completing an EdS at the University of Virginia.  Mr. Blacketer participates in the School Planning Committee, and Rho Kappa Social Studies Honor Society.  He serves as Social Studies department chair, mentor for new teachers, and earned approval for the Advanced Placement (AP) Capstone program.

Mr. Blacketer offers this advice to his fellow educators-

“Everything should come back to students. The point of a school is to help students learn and grow, so never lose sight of why we’re here.”


Since 1964, Virginia has participated in the National Teacher of the Year Program. The program is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). In 2006, Virginia’s Teacher of the Year Program was renamed in honor of Mary V. Bicouvaris, the 1989 Virginia and National Teacher of the Year. The late Dr. Bicouvaris was a teacher in Hampton City Public Schools and was Virginia’s first National Teacher of the Year. The Mary V. Bicourvaris Virginia Teacher of the Year Program honors teachers who represent the best in teaching in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the nation. The reigning Virginia teacher of the year is Ms. Daphne Fulson, 2nd grade teacher at Portlock Primary. Mr. Schneider will now begin his work navigating the state teacher of the year process. Best of luck to Mr. Schneider!