Chesterfield teacher of the year recognized for guiding school through virtual learning

Chesterfield County

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Chesterfield County Public Schools announced on Friday that Raegen Dinelli, the instructional designer at Clover Hill Elementary has been chosen as the 2022 CCPS Teacher of the Year and Elementary School Teacher of the Year.

In her role as instructional designer, Dinelli helped her coworkers and school families adapt to virtual learning environment.

Leading up to the 2020-2021 school year, Dinelli says she worked on how-to guides, documents and videos to help the school’s community learn more about the technology tools they’d be using during remote learning.

“I collaborated with my administration and other colleagues to come up with ways to make technology less intimidating (and dare I say, fun?) for all stakeholders,” Dinelli stated in a CCPS release. “I was on a mission to make teachers love Canvas [the school division’s learning management system], so that they could pack a powerful punch with their lessons and keep their students engaged and invested in their education.”

According to the release, Dinelli was essential in getting everyone trained on using Canvas ahead of a virtual start to the school year. This allowed teachers to better get information and lessons to their students.

Dinelli has worked at Clover Hill Elementary since 2006 but this was her first year in the instructional designer role. Previously she taught fifth grade.

“In July, I stepped into the role of Instructional Designer, which was the best move I could have made, but by far the scariest move I could have made. Especially in the year of a global pandemic,” Dinelli said.

CCPS Superintendent Dr. Merv Daugherty describes her as “creative, inventive and resourceful.”

The Middle School Teacher of the Year award was given to Suzanne Potocko, a sixth grade math teacher at Robious Middle School. The High School Teacher of the Year award went to Tracy Longworth, a long-time science teacher at Thomas Dale.

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