The Washington Post

Fairfax educator among finalists for National Teacher of the Year honors

Fairfax County schools educator Melissa Porfirio is among four finalists for the 2014 National Teacher of the Year honors.

Porfirio, 39, who was earlier named the Virginia teacher of the year, has taught since 2005 at Crestwood Elementary in Springfield, where she currently serves as first grade teacher.

A former social worker, Porfirio is known as a master classroom leader who has participated in training videos for Fairfax schools. In 2013, she was the named the Fairfax County schools teacher of the year and was among 20 who received the Washington Post’s Agnes Meyer award for outstanding teaching.

Among Crestwood families, Porfirio is considered a role model inside and out of school. She regularly attends parent-teacher association events and after-school activities with her students.

Crestwood principal Timothy Kasik has said that Porfirio led the school’s first international night, helping to bring together parents and teachers to learn about diverse cultures around the world through exotic food, music and dancing.

Kasik said in a statement that Porfirio helps students find the joy in learning.

“Her students love coming to school and each one of them always has a smile on his or her face,” Kasik said.

As a finalist, Porfirio will attend a ceremony at the White House in April announcing the winner of the National Teacher of the Year award.

T. Rees Shapiro is an education reporter.

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