In a surprise award presentation on Dec. 20, William Day, a mathematics teacher at Two Rivers Middle Charter School was honored as the 2014 District of Columbia Teacher of the Year. Mayor Vincent C. Gray, Acting State Superintendent of Education Jesús Aguirre, Public Charter School Board Executive Director Scott Pearson, and Two Rivers Public Charter School Executive Director Jessica Wodatch presented Day with the annual award, which is given to a public school teacher in recognition of their outstanding teaching in the District of Columbia and professional leadership within and beyond the classroom.
“Today, I am proud to recognize Mr. Day’s commitment to his students, to his school and to the District of Columbia with the DC Teacher of the Year award,” said Mayor Gray. “He exemplifies what passionate and outstanding teaching and professional leadership looks like both in and out of the classroom. I’m heartened that the District has teachers like Mr. Day, who are driven by their vocation to make a positive and lifelong difference in the lives of our children.”
Day has been commended by parents and colleagues for his innovative teaching style and student-led assessments and analyses to stimulate classroom learning. Since joining Two Rivers Public Charter School in 2011 as a mathematics teacher, he also served in various roles including being a mentor, master teacher, and learning lab facilitator. Moreover, as a Math for America fellow, William conducts professional development workshops for early career math teachers in the District and seminars on designing problem-based tasks.
“The annual District of Columbia Teacher of the Year Award is a wonderful opportunity to recognize the extraordinary efforts our teachers make to ensure student success, and Mr. Day is an exemplary model of what dedicated, talented educators look like in the District,” added Acting State Superintendent Aguirre. “We appreciate his creatively methodical instruction in the classroom, and mentoring outside of the classroom, which generates a lasting imprint on students, parents, and peers, and promotes positive change for the community.”
Nominated citywide and representing both DC public and public charter schools, the District of Columbia Teacher of the Year is selected annually by a panel of education leaders through an extensive application process that includes a written application and essay, interviews and classroom observation.
As 2014 District of Columbia Teacher of the Year, Day will represent the District in a variety of educational capacities with other state teachers of the year, beginning January 22 – 25 at the 2014 State Teacher of the Year Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. Along with Day, other finalists were Laurel Horn of Thurgood Marshall Academy and William Taylor of Wheatley Educational Campus. The DC Teacher of the Year and finalists will also attend a February State Board of Education public meeting to be formally recognized with other DC statewide educator award winners.