Kenneth W. Culbert Teaching Assistant Surprised as the May Year of the Educator Winner

A kindergarten class at Kenneth W. Culbert Elementary had just returned from recess when Acting Superintendent Dr. Daniel Smith, Culbert Elementary Principal Monica Edwards and Letty Kayser of Loudoun Education Foundation (LEF) arrived to share some good news: Ramona Henriquez, a teaching assistant, was the winner of the May Year of the Educator prize. 

“I am pleased to give you this token of appreciation to thank you for all you do for Loudoun County Public Schools and your students,” said Smith.

Year of the Educator is a joint Loudoun County Public School (LCPS) and Loudoun Education Foundation (LEF) initiative designed to surprise LCPS staff and thank them for their commitment to LCPS students and community. Each month during the 2022-23 school year, a randomly selected staff member received recognition and a prize valued at $500 or more.

This month’s prize included $350 in gift certificates to several Loudoun County dining establishments including Magnolias on the Mill in Purcellville and Mom’s Apple Pie Company in Leesburg, plus a $165 gift certificate to the Maid Brigade. The Maid Brigade donated the gift certificate for their cleaning services. LEF coordinates the prizes and prize sponsors for the Year of the Educator initiative.  

Henriquez was surprised and a little overwhelmed by the attention. “Wow! I am just speechless,” said Henriquez upon receiving the recognition. “This is just wonderful,” she continued. “Working with such a great team makes my job special. We have a great community here at KWC.”

Henriquez was the ninth winner of the Year of the Educator for the 2022-23 school year. Other Year of the Educator prize winners were:

  • Veronica Coates, a School Nutrition Lead at Woodgrove High

  • Travis Mirabella, a Math Teacher at Willard Middle

  • Holly Myers, a Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher at Blue Ridge Middle

  • Blanca Reyes, a Custodian at Dominion High 

  • Michelle Robles, a Special Education Teacher at Forest Grove Elementary 

  • Michael Shenkman, a Social and Global Sciences Teacher at Briar Woods High

  • Meghan Smith, an Early Childhood Special Education Teacher at Ashburn Elementary

  • Amy Trickett, English Teacher at Lightridge High

Danielle Nadler, LEF Executive Director, said that she has appreciated the opportunity to support the Year of the Educator program this year. “Supporting LCPS staff is the heart of our mission. Our involvement with Year of the Educator has allowed us to visit LCPS schools, connect with teachers and share great gifts. This initiative not only fulfills our mission but has also been one of the highlights of this past year.” 

“I have greatly enjoyed the opportunity to visit schools and meet with some of our wonderful staff. The Year of the Educator initiative is truly reflective of the appreciation I have for all of our LCPS staff. Our staff are the source of our success. I hope that each and every LCPS staff member knows how valued and important they are to our mission,” said Smith.




Published May 26, 2023