Teachers receive city-wide awards

Published 9:22 pm Monday, April 2, 2018

Suffolk Public Schools recently recognized outstanding teachers, awarding a Middle School Teacher of the Year, High School Teacher of the Year and Rookie Teacher of the Year in addition to the Elementary Teacher of the Year, Katelyn Leitner, who won the citywide award.

King’s Fork Middle School is the home of the 2018 Middle School Teacher of the Year, William Carter.

Carter has been a technology education teacher for just three years, because he switched careers after years in the manufacturing industry.


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Carter spends time outside of the classroom as well. Not only does he lead a student technology club, Carter also shares knowledge with other educators at the Suffolk Excellence in Education Conference.

While the children have a textbook to learn from, Carter keeps the classroom interactive for all of his students. The students engage in balloon cars, electromagnets and even computer code. Throughout their learning, Carter emphasizes that failure is just a part of the process towards success.

Carter earned a bachelor’s degree from Bridgewater College, a master’s degree from James Madison University and a teaching licensure from Old Dominion University.

Carter has been praised by parents for his enthusiasm and ability to challenge their kids.

Spanish teacher Kristen Ellis at Nansemond River High School was awarded High School Teacher of the Year. Ellis has been teaching for eight years.

Since Ellis teaches Spanish, she sees the same students for several years, and Ellis develops a strong rapport with her students. Students that have graduated still remember her kindness and impact in the classroom.

Before she began teaching, Ellis worked for the Visiting International Faculty program, which brought international teachers to teach U.S. schools as part of a cultural exchange. She has traveled to Mexico, Chile and other Spanish-speaking counties. Ellis even lived in Spain for a year.

Ellis earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia.

The 2018 Rookie Teacher of the Year, Christopher Stadler, is a music teacher at Northern Shores Elementary School.

Stadler, an Old Dominion graduate, takes on the challenge of teaching all grade levels at Northern Shores. Nine hundred students of all levels and music backgrounds have the opportunity to experience the rookie teacher’s “student-first” mentality.

Stadler’s mentality allows him to bring the fundamentals into every class and provide parents with impressive performances. Stadler’s principal, Lori White, praises his ability to interact with all 900 students and know their names.

Colleagues have praised him for having genuine compassion for his students and a willingness to take risks in the classroom.