Henrico, Va. Dec. 12, 2022 — Henrico County Public Schools employs more than 4,000 teachers, but only one is honored each year with the school division’s Teacher of the Year Award. This year’s recipient is Crissy Lynn, a kindergarten teacher at Shady Grove Elementary School. She was selected for the honor from among five finalists across the division.
“For me, this is a reward for living out my passion every single day,” Lynn said at a surprise announcement Monday at Shady Grove. “I don’t do it for awards, I don’t do it for the money, I do it to create lifelong learners, because that’s what I am myself. My heart of hearts is right here in the kindergarten classroom, starting these students off with a love of learning – loving school, wanting to learn, wanting to know more, wanting to answer questions and ask questions.
“I vividly remember playing school every afternoon using my sister and best friends as my students. I had all the things that I thought made a great teacher – a chalkboard, textbooks handed down from my own teachers, a place to teach, ‘teacher clothes’ and a passion for learning. That passion is still burning strong in my heart 18 years later.
“This is also a huge win for elementary education because we are the foundation. We start these kids from the get-go and get them to middle school and beyond.”
In addition to her work in the classroom, Lynn is a longtime mentor for student teachers and new teachers. In 2017 and 2020, she was a finalist for the Community Foundation’s REB Award for Teaching Excellence and was a Henrico Citizen “Top Teacher” in 2019. She served as Shady Grove’s lead kindergarten teacher in 2020-21. Lynn has been the school’s faculty PTA representative since 2006 and chairs the safety committee. She has also served as chair of the school’s committees on hospitality, literacy and adoption of a British-inspired “house” system. Lynn is also sponsor of a school club devoted to tie-dye and has taught after-school classes in sewing and watercolor.
Lynn grew up in Henrico County and attended Lakeside Elementary School and George Moody Middle School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Longwood University and a master’s degree in library science from Old Dominion University. Lynn was a student teacher at Shady Grove and Brookland Middle School before joining the Shady Grove faculty in 2005 as a kindergarten teacher.
The Henrico Education Foundation will host a banquet at the Greater Richmond Convention Center in May to recognize the Teacher of the Year honorees from all HCPS schools, including the 2023 divisionwide Teacher of the Year finalists: Laurie Morris, a math teacher at George Moody School; Erica Hall, a third grade teacher at Laburnum Elementary School; Lisa Dingman, an English-as-a-second-language teacher at Quioccasin Middle School; and Rebekah Wright, a kindergarten teacher at Henry Ward Elementary School.