Rocky Mount Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Anthony Swann was named 2021 Virginia Teacher of the Year in a virtual meeting tonight with the Virginia Department of Education.
"Words cannot express how humbled and grateful I am to have this honor," Swann said after learning of his selection. "I plan to use this opportunity to give hope to those students who feel as though their current trauma or economic hardship is the end of their world."
Last month, he was named Region 6 Teacher of the Year, making him one of eight candidates for the state honor. He was awarded Franklin County Public Schools Teacher of the Year earlier this year.
Dr. James F. Lane, Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction, was the host of the meeting. During a brief summary of each candidate, he said that Swann provides life skills lessons and mentoring beyond the classroom.
Last year, Swann established the Guys with Ties program for fifth graders, stressing the importance of integrity, honesty and respect. Students are required to dress to impress twice a month and participate in 45-minute lessons. He also invites guest speakers and motivators several times a year.
"Teachers, together we have the ability to change one life at a time through our influence," Swann said in his closing comments. "Let's continue to change the world one child at a time."
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