Gov. Youngkin names Virginia Teacher of the Year

Published 9:00 am Tuesday, May 7, 2024

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Avanti Yamamoto, a mathematics teacher at Hanover County Public Schools’ Atlee High School, was named the 2025 Virginia Teacher of the Year at an announcement ceremony hosted by Governor Glenn Youngkin on Capitol Square Monday afternoon. Yamamoto was selected last month as one of the Commonwealth’s eight regional teachers of the year and is now Virginia’s nominee for 2025 National Teacher of the Year. 

“The eight teachers here today represent the best of their profession, and it is wonderful to have the opportunity to celebrate Virginia teachers across the Commonwealth who work tirelessly to educate, prepare, and grow our students,” Youngkin said. “Congratulations to Avanti Yamamoto, a fantastic teacher who will be a great representative for all educators in the Commonwealth.” 

“We are proud to have Avanti represent all of Virginia as our Teacher of the Year, but we’re also blessed to have seven other exceptional teachers serving as representatives of their communities and fellow educators,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Lisa Coons. 

Following interviews Monday morning with each of the eight regional winners, a selection committee chose Avanti Yamamoto, the 2025 Region One Teacher of the Year. The committee included representatives of educational institutions, the business community, and school divisions. 


The seven other 2025 Virginia Regional Teachers of the Year — who were also honored during Monday evening’s ceremony — are: 

• Chanda L. Woods, an integrated language arts teacher at Newport News Public Schools’ Crittenden Middle School (Region 2). 

• Beth Marshall, a French teacher at Spotsylvania County Public Schools’ Riverbend High School (Region 3). 

• Darnell Greene, a mathematics teacher at Manassas Park City Schools’ Manassas Park Middle School (Region 4). 

• Genevieve Weaver, an adapted special education teacher at Bedford County Public Schools’ Jefferson Forest High School (Region 5). 

• Candace Nichole Carrier, a career and technical education – agricultural education teacher at Montgomery County Public Schools’ Blacksburg High School (Region 6). 

• Andy Holmes, a band director at Smyth County Public Schools’ Marion Senior High School and Marion Middle School (Region 7). 

• Emily Wilson Overstreet, a visual arts teacher at Cumberland County Public Schools’ Cumberland Elementary School (Region 8). 

“I am thankful to have our Regional Teachers of the Year begin serving as members of our Teacher Advisory Council, helping elevate the voices and perspectives of teachers across the Commonwealth,” said Coons. 

Following the ceremony, Mrs. Yamamoto and the other teachers were honored at a reception hosted by the Governor and First Lady Suzanne S. Youngkin. 

The 2025 National Teacher of the Year will be announced next spring at a White House ceremony.