Stodola Named VAME Teacher of the Year

Ben Stodola, the chair of Rock Ridge High School’s Career and Technical Education Department, has been named the Virginia Association of Marketing Educators (VAME) 2023 Teacher of the Year. Stodola was honored at the VAME Professional Development Institute, July 24 through 26, in Richmond.  

Stodola graduated from Manassas City Public Schools before obtaining a bachelor’s degree in business and information technology and a master’s degree in career and technical education, both from Virginia Tech. He joined Rock Ridge’s faculty in 2017, the year of his graduation from Tech where he teaches Sports and Entertainment Marketing; Marketing 1; and Cybersecurity in Marketing. Stodola also serves as a DECA advisor. DECA, an association of marketing students, has a 200-member chapter at Rock Ridge. Stodola also oversees the school store, The Phoenix Peak.

In his nomination package, Stodola wrote about what he wants to create in his classroom. “The greatest aspect of teaching is the opportunity to provide students with a safe space. This space allows for students to explore and challenge themselves. It creates a safe place to fail and be comfortable with taking risks. My classroom allows for students to be their authentic selves or to let them know I respect them and are just happy they showed up.” 

One of his students, Emily Lam, wrote that Stodola has achieved this objective. “Mr. Stodola has a way into the hearts of his students that no other teacher presents. I would compare his classroom to a Starbucks – always open and available for anyone to stop to chill or for a chat, whether with him or each other.”

Stodola is the fifth Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) teacher to receive this award, following Briana Eifler, Dominion High School (2021); Sandra Tucker, Rock Ridge High School (2019); Donna Celio, Stone Bridge High School (2008); and Kathy Chrisman, Potomac Falls High School (2006). 

Published August 7, 2023