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Richmond science teacher Kiara Thompson named Region 1 Teacher of the Year: 'I'm so thankful for my students'

Posted at 11:10 AM, Aug 30, 2022

RICHMOND, Va. -- Kiara Thompson believed she was making a back-to-school speech when her principal asked her to step outside on Tuesday morning.

Instead, Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R - Virginia) helped surprise the Thomas C. Boushall Middle School physical science teacher as the Region 1 Teacher of the Year.

“The Region 1 Teacher of the Year is one of eight teachers that are being recognized today around the Commonwealth out of 100,000 teachers. How special is that there’s one right here at Boushall Middle School,” Youngkin said to thunderous applause.

Thompson joined Boushall Middle about six years ago. Before that, she worked in healthcare at VCU Medical Center.

Thompson switched careers after volunteering with youth at Norfolk community centers while earning her Master’s degree in public administration at Old Dominion University.

Thompson said she discovered her true passion was working with children and helping educate the next generation.

“The reason I did become a teacher and what I love most about teaching is the impact that I’m able to make on my students. I tell my students every year if you’re ever in my class you’re always going to be in my class,” she said.

Virginia Secretary of Education Aimee Guidera, Superintendent Jason Kamras and school board representatives also shared in the announcements and celebrations.

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Thompson was named RPS’ 2022 Teacher of the Year in May. She is now in the running for Virginia Teacher of the Year against eight other teachers across the state.

“I know a lot of times we talk about how students are thankful for teachers. I'm so thankful for my students. They teach me so much throughout the years and continue to teach me every day. I'm so excited for this new school year and I thank you so much. Thank you so much,” she stated.

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