MHS Teacher Named 2023 HCPS Teacher of the Year

Mechanicsville High School Teacher Named Teacher of the Year
Posted on 05/12/2022
Hanover County Public Schools Teacher of the Year Stephen SalvatoStephen Salvato, a social studies teacher at Mechanicsville High School (MHS), has been selected as this year’s Hanover County Public Schools (HCPS) Teacher of the Year.

Salvato has taught at MHS for the entirety of his 11-year instructional career, teaching Advanced Placement U.S. Government and Politics, International Baccalaureate Economics, and Virginia/U.S. Government. Salvato will now compete for the Region I Superintendents’ Teacher of the Year award.

“I am so honored to receive this recognition. Growing up in a military family that moved regularly, I did not have a lot of constants in my life,” Salvato said. “However, no matter where I lived, school was one of my favorite places because of my teachers. They pushed me to learn more, they encouraged my creativity, and they cared for me.”

He added: “In my time as an educator in Hanover, I have seen so many examples of colleagues who are the same — they are passionate for their subjects, and they care deeply for their students. Teaching with such amazing colleagues, I am honored to be recognized as the Teacher of the Year!”

Dr. Michael Gill, Superintendent of Schools, made the surprise announcement on Wednesday, May 4 during a special staff meeting inside the MHS auditorium as Salvato’s co-workers and family cheered on.

Salvato, a College of William & Mary alumnus, said his favorite part of teaching is working with students.

“When given the opportunity, our students can be so creative and fun — my favorite moments are when students are working together excitedly or engaged in a great discussion,” he said. “The fact that everyone learns differently makes teaching challenging and ever-changing — that is why when you figure out how to reach a student, it is so rewarding.”

MHS Principal Charles Stevens called Salvato an “exceptional teacher and leader.”

“He makes every effort to get to know all of his students and he builds positive relationships with them,” Stevens said. “Based on the knowledge of his students he consistently seeks relevant learning experiences to embed into his lessons in order for them to make connections with the content.”

HCPS employs roughly 1,400 teachers. Each year, the division selects one teacher for this distinguished award who is actively and meaningfully involved in the school and community and can serve as a role model and ambassador for teachers in the division.
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