Crystal Wallen, a Math 6 and Foundations of Algebra teacher at River Bend Middle School, has been named the 2022 Virginia Middle School Association’s (VMSA) Teacher of the Year.
The award was presented Thursday, March 24, at the VMSA State Conference held on the campus of James Madison University.
Wallen was nominated for the award by River Bend Middle School Assistant Principal Juliet Kenny. The nomination narrative highlights Wallen’s leadership, creativity and growth mindset.
The nomination packet included a letter of support from one of Wallen’s former students, Potomac Falls High School Freshman Sam Raye. Sam wrote, “There was never a day when I was in Ms. Wallen’s class that I wished I were somewhere else. There is no other teacher I would have rather had. I wish more teachers wanted their students to succeed as much as Ms. Wallen did.”
The packet’s other letter of support was from Principal David Shaffer. Shaffer wrote, “She is loved by her students because she makes learning authentic, relevant and engaging.”
Wallen has taught at River Bend the last six years and pursued additional certifications in teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and Special Education to better meet the needs of her students.