Graduating students, including Eric Byers (facing camera, mentioned below) applauding near the end of SPCS Commencement Exercises on May 7, 2022, at the University of Richmond.

Education alums recognized for teaching and leadership excellence

May 23, 2022

SPCS Alumni Update

Alums from the University of Richmond’s teacher education and educational leadership programs have been recognized for teaching and leadership excellence by schools, school divisions and organizations across the region and around the nation.

In reporting measures collected for the University of Richmond’s annual report to the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), graduates from the Schools of Arts & Sciences, Business and Professional & Continuing Studies are recognized for excellence by their local schools, school divisions, and professional organizations.

During the 2021-2022 academic year, the following Richmond alums were recognized for teaching and leadership excellence. Alums are categorized into two groups: teacher education, which includes undergraduate and graduate programs in teacher licensure and teacher education, and educational leadership, which includes our graduate program in educational leadership and policy studies.

Teacher Education

Rachel Bringewatt, ’18 and GC’20, was named Teacher of the Year at Enon Elementary School in Chesterfield County. Bringewatt earned a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies through the School of Arts & Sciences with a minor in Elementary Education, and a master’s degree in Education through the School of Professional & Continuing Studies with a focus on Curriculum & Instruction.

Christy Bruner, C’21, was named First Year Teacher of the Year at Shady Grove Elementary School in Henrico County. Bruner earned a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Elementary Education through the School of Professional & Continuing Studies.

Yazmean Burgess-White, ’15, was named Teacher of the Year at Laburnum Elementary School in Henrico County. Burgess-White earned a bachelor’s degree in History with a minor in Elementary Education through the School of Arts & Sciences.

Rachel Earle, ’15 and GC’21, was named First Year Teacher of the Year at Pinchbeck Elementary School in Henrico County. Earle earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a major in Accounting and a minor in French through the Robins School of Business, and a master’s degree in Teaching through the School of Professional & Continuing Studies.

Cassie Gilboy, ’19, was named Teacher of the Year at Broad Rock Elementary School in Richmond. Gilboy earned a bachelor’s degree in Latin American, Latino and Iberian Studies with a minor in Elementary Education through the School of Arts & Sciences.

Mercedes Horton, ’21, was named Henrico County First Year Teacher of the Year. Horton teaches at Pemberton Elementary School and earned a bachelor’s degree in Latin American, Latino and Iberian Studies with a minor in Elementary Education through the School of Arts & Sciences.

Jennifer Mayes, ’15, was named Teacher of the Year at R.C. Longan Elementary School in Henrico County. Mayes earned a graduate certificate in Teacher Licensure Preparation through the School of Professional & Continuing Studies.

Chauntee Pitts, C’16, was named Teacher of the Year at Parkway Elementary School in the Crowley Independent School District in Texas. Pitts earned a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Elementary Education through the School of Professional & Continuing Studies.

Kristen Schwalm, GC’20, was named Teacher of the Year at L.L. Beazley Elementary School in Prince George County. Schwalm earned a graduate certificate in Teacher Licensure Preparation through the School of Professional & Continuing Studies.

Educational Leadership

Peyton Anderson, GC’20, received an Impact Award from Virginia ASCD, a membership organization dedicated to advancing excellence in Virginia’s schools. Anderson serves as a coordinator in the Chesterfield County Public Schools Office of Professional Learning and earned a master’s degree in Education with a focus in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies through the School of Professional & Continuing Studies.

Charlee Breeden, GC’17, was named Outstanding Secondary School Assistant Principal by the Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals (VASSP). Breeden serves as associate principal at Tomahawk Creek Middle School in Chesterfield County. Breeden earned a post-master’s graduate certificate in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies through the School of Professional & Continuing Studies.

Eric Byers, GC’22, was named Teacher of the Year at Highland Springs High School in Henrico County. Byers earned a post-master’s graduate certificate in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies through the School of Professional & Continuing Studies.

Maddy Hargis, GC’18 and GC’21, was named the Richard Tilghman Family Master Teaching Chair at St. Catherine’s School in Richmond. Hargis earned a master’s degree in Education with a focus in Curriculum & Instruction and a post-master’s graduate certificate in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies through the School of Professional & Continuing Studies.

Kara Kasarda, GC’22, was named Teacher of the Year at Swift Creek Middle School in Chesterfield County. Kasarda earned a post-master’s graduate certificate in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies through the School of Professional & Continuing Studies.

Daniel McKinney, GC’22, was named Teacher of the Year at Holman Middle School in Henrico County. McKinney earned a post-master’s graduate certificate in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies through the School of Professional & Continuing Studies.

Matt Murray, GC’22, was named Teacher of the Year at Quioccasin Middle School in Henrico County. Murray earned a post-master’s graduate certificate in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies through the School of Professional & Continuing Studies.

Matt Seidita, GC’20, was named Teacher of the Year at L.D. Wilder Middle School in Henrico County. Seidita earned a master’s degree in Education with a focus in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies through the School of Professional & Continuing Studies.

The impact of the University of Richmond’s teacher education and educational leadership programs on students across the state and around the country is clear from the recognition they’ve received from schools, divisions and organizations.