College of Education

Satolli named Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom 2021 Teacher of the Year


 
satolli

SUMMARY: Phil Satolli (M.A.T., ’05) was recently named Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom 2021 Teacher of the Year.


Phil Satolli (M.A.T., ’05) was recently named Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom 2021 Teacher of the Year. He received his Master’s in Early Childhood Education from James Madison University and has been teaching first grade at Lacey Spring Elementary School in Rockingham County for the last 16 years.

Satolli had wanted to be a teacher since he was a young child, but didn’t initially pursue that profession in college. When he decided to switch gears, he researched many different colleges and universities, but ultimately fell in love with JMU for his Master’s degree.

 Though he had originally planned to teach middle school, Dr. Doris Martin inspired him and guided him towards early childhood education. He says, “Her class on using creativity to foster children’s learning was a personal favorite and provides continued inspiration.” He had one of his first practicum experiences at Lacey Spring and was fortunate to be hired there after graduation.

satolliWhile at Lacey Spring he started a gardening and composting program for his students and the whole school. In its first year, over 2.000 pounds of cafeteria waste was composted and used in the school’s garden. That garden now has 16 raised beds where students participate in growing and harvesting their own produce. He also started the school’s first after school garden club. 

Satolli himself is still inspired by his own first grade teacher, Sister Miriam. She passed away long before he began his own teaching career, but he often recalls his own experiences as a first grader in her classroom and wishes he could thank her for being a wonderful, caring teacher.The field of education is under a microscope right now, but Satolli says it is a great career. It’s not easy, but it’s also never boring. “Early childhood education is filled with laughter and a lot of fun. I learn something new every day and I am continually inspired by my students and the other educators that I work with.”

Back to Top

Published: Thursday, February 18, 2021

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Related Articles