Forest Grove Elementary Special Education Teacher Surprised as the April Year of the Educator Winner

Forest Grove’s fifth-grade students waited in the gym with visible anticipation for the morning’s surprise celebration to begin. Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) Acting Superintendent Daniel Smith, Forest Grove Principal Rhonda Lopez, Loudoun Education Foundation (LEF) Executive Director Danielle Nadler, and several Forest Grove and other LCPS staff also awaited the start of the special event. The students and staff were gathered to celebrate Michelle Robles, a Forest Grove special education teacher, who had been randomly selected as the April Year of the Educator prize winner. 

Upon her entry, Robles, who was unaware of the reason for the event, was greeted with flowers and cheers. Smith congratulated Robles and explained that the Year of the Educator initiative was created  “to thank you for the important work you do every day.” 

Letty Kayser of LEF told Robles that as the April Year of the Educator winner, she had won a gift card for a one-night stay at the Hyatt Place Hotel in Ocean City, Md., a $250 gift card to Coastal Salt, a restaurant also in Ocean City, and a $250 Costco gift card. Impact Taekwondo of Purcellville donated this month’s prize.

Upon receiving her gift and taking in the scope of the celebration, Robles asked, “Is this real?” Visibly surprised, Robles accepted congratulations from her colleagues and students. 

Year of the Educator is a joint LCPS and LEF initiative designed to surprise LCPS staff and thank them for their hard work on behalf of LCPS students and the community. The initiative began in September 2022, and each month since a randomly selected staff member has received recognition and a prize. LEF coordinates and secures prizes valued at $500 or more.

Published May 2, 2023