Henrico County names Ronald Terry (’17, ‘19M) New Teacher of the Year

College of Education

SUMMARY: Henrico County has named Ronald Terry (’17, ‘19M) of Colonial Trail Elementary School in Glen Allen, Virginia New Teacher of the Year

Ronald Terry ('17, '19M) comes across as being a humble guy, but that does not mean that being first is a bad thing. He is the first in his family to graduate from college. That is no small feat! Most recently he has been named 'First Year Teacher of the Year' at Colonial Trail Elementary School in Glen Allen, Virginia where he teaches fifth grade.

Science class first thing on a Thursday morning was a first that Terry was not looking forward to. Initially he was not excited about science or an 8 am class at all, but Dr. John Almarode changed his mind there. Dr. Almarode was "lively, engaging, smart, funny, and likable. Best professor ever!" says Terry. Almarode transformed Terry’s views about science and teaching science. Terry now teaches science and social studies to fifth graders in Henrico County.

Terry says James Madison's College of Education prepared him well for the classroom. He especially credits his practicum and student teaching placements with helping him feel comfortable in a classroom. He learned about classroom management, engaging with students, and different ways to assess learning besides tests and quizzes. He was not quite prepared for starting his first year virtually, but even seasoned teachers are learning as they go this year.

Terry first came to James Madison for a prospective students' weekend in 2013. He met some great people that he still keeps in touch with today. He says the Centennial Scholars Program opened up a lot of doors for him as a first-generation college student. He truly understands the JMU way of holding doors for others.

Terry is immensely grateful for the people who believed in him as he was getting started. He credits the professors who invested their time and energy in him, the Centennial Scholars Program for helping him achieve his dreams, and all the other people who reached out to help him along the way. His humility really shines when he advises current students, "Take the opportunity to give back. Try to help set up someone else’s future. Students need to see hope and a vision for their future. Give back and enjoy your time here."

Does Terry have any advice for those just getting started in the teaching profession? "Talk to friends and other people in the program. Get their experience. Go to office hours and talk to your professors. They want you to be successful." he says. "Believe in yourself."

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Published: Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 3, 2023

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