Loudoun County Public Schools announced today the educators who won this year’s Washington Post Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year awards.
Denise Corbo, a gifted education teacher at Horizon, Sugarland and Steuart Weller elementary schools, was named Teacher of the Year. Paul Pack, principal at Liberty Elementary School, was named Principal of the Year.
Corbo has worked in nine Loudoun County elementary schools since 1992. Beyond teaching, she has designed a lesson-plan template used for Loudoun’s elementary gifted program, SEARCH. She mentors fellow teachers with an emphasis on improving educational opportunities for underserved populations. Corbo also introduced the school division’s first elementary electronic report card.
In her nomination packet, teacher Janet Segerson recalled the support Corbo offered when she first joined the SEARCH program. “Although I had been a classroom teacher for 17 years, I still sought out and appreciated her guidance and mentoring for this new position. Although Denise was not assigned to be my mentor, she volunteered to fill that role,” she said.
Beyond school, Corbo created the nonprofit organization StoryBook Treasures, which provides books and related toys to children who can’t afford them in Loudoun, Maryland and Florida. She is the founder of Brainiacs4kids, providing critical thinking and problem-solving skills to pre-school students.
Pack is known as a principal who challenges students to solve authentic, real-world problems beyond his school, Liberty Elementary. He created “PBL Ignite,” a project-based learning conference that brought educators from nine schools together to brainstorm how to get their students excited about learning. Two years ago, he also converted Liberty’s traditional computer lab into a SMART Lab that encourages students to work with new technology, such as a 3D printer.
In her nomination letter for Pack, teacher Khristie Grenier said she admires the principal’s work to get students excited about STEM but to also equip them for life outside of the classroom. “He is teaching students to be good…He continues to bring excitement, energy, and excellence to the school day every day.”
Pack’s entire career has been spent in Loudoun, starting as a teacher, and later assistant principal, at Little River Elementary in 2002.
The two educators will be recognized by the Loudoun County School Board on Tuesday.