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Krista Rydzak, Mary S. Peake Elementary School, Elementary School Teacher of the Year

Dr. Hope Wilson, Jones Magnet Middle School, Middle School Teacher of the Year

Katelyn Deel, Phoebus High School, High School Teacher of the Year


Hampton City Schools names 2022-2023 Teachers of the Year


Hampton City Schools held its annual Teacher of the Year celebration on Thursday, March 31, 2022, to honor the 2022-2023 Teachers of the Year. The HCS elementary, middle, and high school Teacher of the Year were announced at the 5:00 p.m. ceremony.


Congratulations to Krista Rydzak, a first grade teacher at Mary S. Peake Elementary School, for being named the 2022-2023 HCS Elementary School Teacher of the Year.


Rydzak serves on several committees, including the School Leadership Team, the Math Vertical Team and the Character Chats Team. She participates in the 21st Century Tutoring Program and works on a garden project with her colleague. Rydzak is working on National Board Certification.  


“I am extremely proud and honored to represent HCS as the 2022-2023 Elementary Teacher of the Year,” said Rydzak. “Teaching is the only thing I have ever wanted to do and I am grateful to teach in a division where I have the opportunity to excel.”


Sharif Hicks, principal of Mary S. Peake Elementary School said, “Ms. Rydzak is a compassionate educator who puts the needs of her scholars first and is always willing to help mentor other educators. We are so proud of her success.”


Congratulations to Dr. Hope Wilson, a science teacher at Jones Magnet Middle School, for being named the 2022-2023 HCS Middle School Teacher of the Year.


Wilson serves as the Mastery Connect and Swivel teacher for her school and serves on the Climate and Culture Committee. She is an active member of both the John Wesley AME Zion Church and Livingstone College alumni program. Wilson uses her summers to attend Collegiate Science Teacher Academy and has been recognized by Explore Learning as one of the HCS top users. 


“I am appreciative and humbled to be recognized as HCS Middle School Teacher of the Year,” said Wilson. “I take great pride in knowing that I stand on the shoulders of such great teachers past and present that set the standard of excellence to follow. Thank you so much for the honor of serving!”


Sharon Slater, principal of Jones shared, “We are beyond proud of Dr. Hope Wilson, our Middle School Teacher of the Year, a champion for student achievement and social and emotional learning. She is an educator in every sense of the word, exemplifying the mission of Hampton City Schools … Every Child, Every Day, Whatever it Takes!”


Congratulations to Katelyn Deel, an English teacher at Phoebus High School, for being named the 2022-2023 HCS High School Teacher of the Year.


Deel serves as the Mentor Lead and Academy Lead in her building. She discussed the Academies of Hampton in the recent Community Priorities Workshop and co-sponsors the Model United Nations Club. The combination of her intensive work with the Freshman Academy resulted in a decrease in the retention rate from 23 percent to 4 percent. 


Deel said, “Being recognized as Phoebus High's Teacher of the Year as well as Hampton City Schools' High School Teacher of the Year is beyond amazing. There are so many people who collaborated with me and helped make this achievement possible. Words cannot express how much I love my students and how much I enjoy my job, despite the challenges educators face. Phoebus High School has given me so many great opportunities and I cannot wait to see what the future holds!”


“Mrs. Deel is an outstanding educator who goes over and beyond the call of duty to advocate and support all students inside and outside of the classroom,” shared James Harris, Phoebus executive principal. “She truly epitomizes our motto of ‘Greatness: Every Day in Every Way’. One of the most significant skills that Mrs. Deel possesses is that she understands the significance of building relationships with all students in order to effectively deliver the content in which she is teaching. She is able to use these relationships to design and deliver engaging, rigorous lessons in which students are eager to learn each day. She works tirelessly to ensure that our students are college, career, and life ready.”


One of these three teachers will be named the Hampton City Schools citywide Teacher of the Year at the School Board meeting on May 4. This teacher will then compete for statewide honors.


Hampton City Schools is proud of their 2022-2023 Teachers of the Year! These individuals demonstrate excellence through their professionalism and commitment to the students of Hampton City Schools. Their creative and innovative instruction, especially after a year and a half of unconventional classroom instruction, positively affects our classrooms, schools, and communities. Hampton City Schools is fortunate to have such outstanding teachers guiding our students toward a future where they can become lifelong learners and achieve their dreams. For a full list of the individual schools 2022-2023 Teachers of the Year, see below:


Aberdeen Elementary                   
Dr. Candace Gray             
Professional School Counselor

Andrews PreK-8                          
Renita Rich Bren              
Language Arts


Armstrong School for the Arts       
Bobbi Carroll                   
Professional School Counselor


Asbury Elementary                       
Lisa Haight                      


Barron Fundamental Elementary    
Maureen Houser               
First Grade


Bassette Elementary                     
Kristin Courts                   
Math Support Specialist


Bethel High                                 
Tracy Cornell                   
Life Science


Bridgeport Academy                     
Kim Johnson                    
Professional School Counselor


Bryan Elementary                        
Lydia James                     
Second Grade


Burbank Elementary                     
Kimberly Cranford            


Mary T. Christian                         
Elementary Laura Miller    
Second grade


Cooper Elementary Magnet School for Technology    
Chayron Purnell               


Lisa Hibbitts                    
Gifted Resource


Eaton Fundamental Middle            
Jessica Scott                     
Seventh Grade Math


Forrest Elementary                       
Aimee Ryder                    
Literacy Support Specialist


Hampton High                             
Kenyetta Johnson Hardy    


Mary W. Jackson Elementary        
Germaine White               
First Grade


Jones Magnet Middle                    
Dr. Hope Wilson              


Kecoughtan High                         
Karen Chang                    


Ann H. Kilgore Gifted Center        
Amanda Galloway            


Kraft Elementary                          
Veronica Wood-Jansen      
First Grade


Langley Elementary                      
Melanie Martin                 
English Language Learner


Lindsay Middle                            
Travis Oliver                    


Machen Elementary                      
Lauren Rhodes                 
First Grade


Moton Early Childhood Center      
Tayannia Ames                


Albert W. Patrick, III Elementary   
Tameka Brown                 
Second Grade


Mary S. Peake Elementary            
Krista Rydzak                  
First Grade


Phenix PreK-8                             
Carrie O’Hanlon               
Civics & Economics


Phillips Elementary                      
Traci Pollard                    
Fifth Grade


Phoebus High                              
Katelyn Deel                    


Smith Elementary                         
Gregory McDoe               
Third Grade


Syms Middle                               
Travis Riddick                  
Eighth Grade Math


Tarrant Middle                             
Priscilla Scott-Thomas       
Special Education


*Department of Academic Advancement and Enrichment