Innovator of the Year

Innovator of the Year
Posted on 05/22/2020
Whitney Wells-Corfield and family

Whitney Wells-Corfield, a fifth grade teacher at South Anna Elementary School (SAES), has been named the 2019–2020 Hanover County Public Schools innovator of the year. The award seeks to encourage and empower teachers to transform learning by continuously challenging, inspiring, and engaging students using new and relevant ideas.

Wells-Corfield received $1,000 from the Hanover Education Foundation and plans to purchase math kits for every grade level to help enhance the level of math station work in SAES classrooms. She has been employed with Hanover County Public Schools since 2014. 

Wells-Corfield encourages her students to be problem solvers and risk-takers. She and her students developed and currently coordinate a math podcast for children, Mic Drop Maths. Students record each instructional segment with math jokes, book reviews, mathematically-sound lessons, and common misconceptions. In the process, they reflect on their own understanding of the math concepts and engage in public speaking, while also enhancing their interdependency and collaboration skills for a product that has a worldwide audience.

Wells-Corfield said, “Being surprised in this way, with this recognition, is a wonderful honor. I'm beyond grateful for the South Anna administration for creating a culture that encourages innovation, my grade level teammates for their constant collaboration, Lindsey Paulson for not only nominating me, but for helping me bring my seedling ideas to life, and my students for their willingness to try new things, venture out of their comfort zones, and make their own contributions. I'm especially thankful for my husband and kids because without their constant love and support behind the scenes, my ideas and projects wouldn't be possible.”

Alicia Cecil, SAES principal, said, “We are very proud of Whitney Wells-Corfield on receiving the innovator of the year award. Mrs. Wells-Corfield is a passionate, dynamic educator. It is inspiring to enter her student-centered classroom and witness her students participating in collaborative, hands-on learning experiences. Mrs. Wells-Corfield excels at relationship building, encourages risk-taking, and empowers her students. She is always looking for new ways to deliver content. Since joining our staff this past fall, she has been a tremendous asset to her students, the fifth grade team, and our school community. Mrs. Wells-Corfield is definitely deserving of this award.”

Each year, Hanover County Public Schools will select one educator for this distinguished award to serve as a role model and ambassador for innovation throughout the division to foster higher student growth and achievement.

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