HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- An English teacher from Glen Allen High School received Henrico County's Teacher of The Year award on Tuesday.
Lindsey Pantele was named this year’s winner out of 4,000 teachers from across the county.
Because the school district's COVID-19 pandemic closures canceled the usual award ceremony, Pantele found out she was the 2020 winner when an HCPS school bus pulled up at her house Tuesday for a surprise announcement from Amy Cashwell, HCPS superintendent and Kristi Kinsella, the School Board’s Brookland District representative.
As part of her award, Pantele received $1,000, courtesy of Henrico Federal Credit Union. The finalists were awarded $500.
Winning is “humbling and rewarding and shocking,” Pantele said from her porch, to a small, socially distanced crowd of well-wishers gathered in her yard. “We don’t enter this profession as teachers to win awards, and I think considering the type of year we all have had, what an honor this is.
“As a product of Henrico County, it has been a privilege getting to work in the county that shaped who I’ve become as a teacher. We have worked so hard for 10 years [since Glen Allen opened] to build a sense of community. I think winning this award is another way for the school and the staff to be proud. I would not be the teacher I am today if not for all of them.”
Pantele graduated from Mills Godwin High School after attending Gayton Elementary School and Harry Byrd (now Quioccasin) and Pocahontas middle schools. She is an alumna of Christopher Newport University, where she earned undergraduate and master’s degrees.
Other finalists for the Teacher of the Year Award were Melinda Pastuszak from Chamberlayne Elementary School, Twin Hickory Elementary School’s Candace Wilcox, Tedra Buckler from Quioccasin Middle School and Jamie Roberts from John Rolfe Middle School. One finalist is selected from each of Henrico’s five magisterial districts.