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William Fox Elementary School Teacher Named 2019 RPS Teacher of the Year

Ashley Morgan

Ashley Morgan, a first grade teacher at William Fox Elementary School, has been named the 2019 Richmond Public Schools’ Teacher of the Year. Morgan and the Teacher of the Year nominees were recognized during an award ceremony sponsored by Wells Fargo and held at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Richmond Downtown on Thursday, November 29.

Morgan holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Development (Early Childhood and Adolescence) from Virginia Tech and a Master’s degree in Teaching from Virginia Commonwealth University. During her undergraduate years, Morgan spent a summer teaching in Malawi, Africa, opening her eyes to education in a global setting and further solidifying her desire to become a teacher. She began her career as an Instructional Assistant at William Fox Elementary and re-joined their team as a first grade teacher in 2015. This spring, she will join the VCU Clinical Faculty to help train and mentor new teachers.

As a teacher, Morgan focuses on building genuine relationships with her students, constant reflection on her practice and differentiating instruction based on students’ needs. She is known throughout her building as someone who challenges her students to reach their full potential while engaging them in joyful and rigorous instruction.

As noted by her principal, “Ms. Morgan ensures academic and social growth for every student in her classroom. She utilizes every minute of the school day for structured student learning. Snack time becomes a vocabulary lesson, lining up is a social studies review and reading incorporates not only comprehension skills, but science, social studies and math curriculum.”

Megan Crowe, a Title I Reading teacher at Oak Grove-Bellemeade Elementary School, was named the first runner-up. Crowe began teaching as a first grade teacher at Oak Grove- Bellemeade in 2015. She is currently the school-wide Literacy Lead and was previously the Lead Teacher on the first grade team. Crowe earned both her Bachelors and Master’s degrees from Longwood University.

Renai Bowers and Hannah Dise tied for second runner-up. Bowers, a third grade Math and Science teacher at Broad Rock Elementary School began her teaching career in Ohio before joining Richmond Public Schools in 2014. While at Broad Rock Elementary, Bowers has served as the Team Lead for third grade, Chair of the Planning and Management Team and as a member of the Positive Behavior Intervention System team. She holds a Bachelors and Master’s degree from Wright State University in Ohio. Hannah Dise teaches Chemistry at Richmond Community High School. A six-year veteran, Dise has maintained 90% and above pass rates on the Standards of Learning (SOL) for Honors Chemistry. Her former principal credited her for the significant increase in their students’
academic performance on Chemistry SOL and AP exams. Dise received her Bachelor’s degree
from Randolph-Macon College and her Master’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth

“We are thrilled to recognize and honor the contributions of these excellent teachers,” said
Superintendent Jason Kamras. “We appreciate their hard work and their dedication to the
students of RPS.”

Wells Fargo has sponsored the RPS Teacher of the Year program for the past five years and
provided cash prizes for the top three award recipients and iPads for the top 10 finalists. For
being named RPS’ 2019 Teacher of the Year, Morgan received a $1,000 cash award. The first runner-up and second runner-ups received $750 and $500 cash awards, respectively.

“At Wells Fargo, we take pride in supporting Richmond Public Schools and celebrating its
wonderful teachers within our local community,” said Corliss Archer, Community Affairs Officer
for Wells Fargo in Virginia. “Our goal is to help build strong and vibrant communities, improve
the quality of life, and to make a positive difference.  Partnering with Richmond Public Schools
has helped us achieve this and we thank all of the teachers for their service.” 

The other top ten finalists include:

  • Lorah Allen, Open High School
  • Derrick Bates, George Mason Elementary School
  • Christine Crawford, Amelia Street School
  • Mandelia Fisher, Chimborazo Elementary School
  • Ronald Johnson, Reid Elementary School
  • LaShawn Winston, Richmond Technical Center

Criteria used to evaluate the nominees include contributions to the field of education,
demonstration of innovative practices, effective school-community relations and the use of
activities and strategies that result in improved instruction.

2019 Teacher of The Year Program Book