This year, the Rotary Club of Fairfax is proud to honor two “Teachers of the Year” from the City of Fairfax schools. In forming a Teacher of the Year selection committee, the club supports Rotary International’s overall efforts in education and literacy, one of its six areas of focus. In selecting the honorees, the committee carefully reviewed several outstanding teacher nominations submitted by City of Fairfax principals. Each of the two honored teachers will receive a cash prize and will be invited to an awards ceremony when the Rotary club is able to meet in person again. The Rotary Club has highlighted only some of the notable accomplishments of these awarded teachers below:
Mrs. Anna Weaver, Social Studies Teacher, Fairfax High School
The Teacher of the Year committee was most impressed by what students, teachers and Principal Erin Lenart had to say about Mrs. Weaver, a social studies teacher and department chair. Principal Lenart shared: “ Anna is a teacher who inspires her students through creating a safe and nurturing classroom environment where they take risks and feel respected. Her schoolwide volunteerism and leadership are second to her passion for her students and the classroom.”
“Mrs. Weaver is always making a point to her students that we come to school to learn and…to do the best we can do,” Junior Spence Toth said. Junior Eunice Lee shared that, “Mrs. Weaver creates assignments and notes in a manner that allows the student to creatively think about what we are learning….she inspires all of her students to reach new levels of learning and achieve the grade you work for in class.” Other students describe how Mrs. Weaver helps them to learn from their mistakes and how she understands their stress in the high school years.
Social Studies teacher, Mike Barbee, said, “Anna is a phenomonal teacher. The work she did (in a joint project) was amazing. She has gone to great lengths to challenge her students within the subject in many ways.” She has her students, “look at history through many different lenses” and puts an emphasis “on life skills and being culturally aware historians within her class.” Mr. Barbee also commends Mrs. Weaver’s leadership skills as the social studies department chair.
A colleague, Mrs. Ronetta Lyons, points out that Mrs. Weaver is an advocate for “all teachers in the building.” She has built relationships with teachers throughout the Fairfax community. Mrs. Weaver is also an active member of Fairfax’s Multi-Tiered System of Support team in which she takes on the role of helping classroom teachers improve their Tier 1 practices to benefit all students. She works with members from all collaborative learning teams to promote effective teaching and high student achievement. She also has become an in-house resource for Tier 2 students who are presented with challenges.
Mrs Weaver’s supervisor, Maureen Keck said, “Anna’s love for learning transcends every relationship she establishes at Fairfax High School. She creates an environment in which students believe that they can achieve greatness in academics whether she is teaching an AP Comparative Government class or a standard level World History class.” Mrs. Weaver has the “ability to identify and balance the needs of diverse learners with high levels of success...” according to this supervisor.
An enthusiastic Mrs. Weaver is also a co-sponsor of the current Freshman class. She put in extra hours at school, helping the freshmen build their float and get ready for their first homecoming and homecoming parade. In addition to her many attributes as a teacher and leader in an academic setting, she also fosters school spirit and pride in the newest students at FHS.
Mr. Alan Borhauer, Academics Resource Teacher, Providence Elementary School
The Teacher of the Year committee found several of the same attributes in Mr. Alan Borhauer, when reviewing the application submitted by his principal. Mr. Borhauer has a true interest in helping his students, his school and also, his community.
Providence Elementary principal, Dan Phillips, describes Mr. Borhauer as often the first person to arrive at school and, frequently, the last to leave. Mr. Borhauer is currently the advanced academics resource teacher (AART), where his primary responsibiilty is to teach and encourage students to use critical and creative thinking strategies. In this role, Mr. Borhauer is able to identify students who need differentiated instruction. Mr. Phillips emphasizes that Mr. Borhauer truly knows the Providence students and with his keen observations, can identify students who may have great academic and thinking talents. This presents a great opportunity to a student new to this country, or a student living in poverty, who may qualify for the Providence Young Scholars program. Mr. Borhauer sees each student as a capable, important learner.
He also works closely with students who have been identified as gifted learners and who might need an additional challenge to supplement rigorous work in the classroom. He develops creative programs from science experiments to strategic games.
He is a leader and was a guiding force in the transition to offer what the county schools call, “Local Level IV Services.” This program allows many of the brightest, most creative students who would opt to go to an Advanced Academic Center school to receive the same services at Providence Elementary School. Mr. Borhauer helps to develop and run the annual STEAM night and is the lead instructor and planner of the summer school program at the school.
Like Mrs. Weaver, Mr. Borhauer collaborates with school staff. He has provided professional development activities and taught classes for the staff and for others in FCPS. He also works with the administration on their School Improvement Plan.
Principal Phillips emphasized that one of Mr. Borhauer’s most important accomplishments at the school was the planning and development of the school courtyard. Over his years at the school, Mr. Borhauer took a large, unused outdoor area in the center of the building and turned it into a center of learning, collaboration and enjoyment for the Providence students, staff and families. The courtyard has become an outdoor classroom, pavilion, garden and learning center for the school.
The Teacher of the Year awards program is one of the most anticipated and celebrated programs of the Fairfax Rotary year. The club, founded in the City of Fairfax in 1931, is one of more than 32,000 Rotary clubs worldwide in more than 200 countries. Rotary International is an organization of businesses and professional persons united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards, in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. The Rotary Club of Fairfax is currently meeting online during this time, each Monday at 12:15 pm. For more information about the Rotary Club of Fairfax, visit the club’s website at www.fairfaxrotary.org.