Thompson Named Loudoun’s Teacher of the Year

Kathleen Thompson, an English and public speaking teacher at Stone Bridge High School, has been named Loudoun County’s 2017 Teacher of the Year.

The School Board announced Monday that Thompson is the county’s nominee for The Washington Post Outstanding Teacher Award.

“You pull the best out of every student that you have—and not only your students but your colleagues,” School Board member Eric Hornberger (Ashburn) said. “Thank you for what you’ve brought to the Stone Bridge community.”

Beyond reading thousands of students’ essays each year, Thompson is known for designing group projects that require and foster true teamwork. Stone Bridge Principal Matthew Wilburn said she treats students like adults, she has high expectations for each of them and she makes sure each feels included.

“I don’t think you can teach a person anything until they know you care about them,” Thompson said. “Then they’re like sponges. They can soak up anything.”

Jennifer Stevens, one of Thompson’s former students, said Thompson goes well beyond her job description to shine a lot on the significance of each student. “I believe a great teacher imparts valuable knowledge (to) their students,” she wrote in her recommendation letter. “But the mark of an exceptional teacher is one whose interest in their students extends well beyond the classroom, an unmistakable quality in Mrs. Thompson.”

Jane Waldrop, who took Thompson’s ninth grade English class in 1994, wrote about the lasting impact her teacher has made on her life. “Kathy Thompson is a gift, not just to the students she reaches, but to the lives she changes and helps. Being a teenager is hard. Kathy makes it not just survivable, but enjoyable. I have never had an educator that has shown this level of caring and relatability to their students.”

Thompson said the award belongs to every teacher she’s worked with and every student who has been in her class. “I’ve been encouraged and I’ve learned so much from each of them.”

She is an inaugural member of the Stone Bridge faculty, having served there since 2000. Thompson previously taught at Park View High School, joining the staff there in 1986.

Past winners of the Loudoun County Teacher of the Year Award include:

  • Linda P. Sheffield, Loudoun County High School (1984)
  • Fritz J. Scholz III, Loudoun County High School (1985)
  • Shirley G. Lynn, Elementary Gifted Program (1986)
  • Harold D. Berry, C.S. Monroe Technology Center (1987)
  • Margaret W. Vaughan, Loudoun Valley High School (1988)
  • Elizabeth R. Doerken, Sully Elementary School (1989)
  • Edith J. Middleton, Loudoun County High School (1990)
  • Everett W. Sutphin, C.S. Monroe Technology Center (1991)
  • Dean T. Drewyer, Loudoun Valley High School (1992)
  • Richard T. Gillespie, Loudoun Valley High School (1993)
  • Mary V. Young, Loudoun County High School (1994)
  • Mary Carol Elgin, C.S. Monroe Technology Center (1995)
  • Lee Daniel Kent, Loudoun County High School (1996)
  • Laura L. West, Meadowland Elementary School (1997)
  • Ann S. Haring, Farmwell Station Middle School (1998)
  • Elizabeth “Lyle” Skarzinski, Loudoun Valley High School (1999)
  • Lora A. Buckman, Meadowland Elementary School (2000)
  • Betty Hill Rankin, Sterling Middle School (2001)
  • Ronald W. Richards, Broad Run High School (2002)
  • Rachel P. Newell, Hillside Elementary School (2003)
  • Douglas M. Dillon, Harper Park Middle School (2004)
  • Victoria L. Lascomb, Evergreen Mill Elementary School (2005)
  • Elizabeth N. Korte, Stone Bridge High School (2006)
  • Sue Ann Gleason, Cedar Lane Elementary School (2007)
  • Patricia Herr, Smart’s Mill Middle School (2008)
  • Jim Jenkins, Mountain View Elementary School (2009)
  • Rhonda Alley, Douglass School (2010)
  • Kenneth David Keller, Stone Bridge High School (2011)
  • Andrea Schlegel, Heritage High School (2012)
  • Lisa Roth, Dominion Trail Elementary School (2013)
  • Allison Alison, Stone Bridge High School (2014)
  • Dawn Blevins, Guilford Elementary School (2015)
  • John Tuck, Rolling Ridge Elementary School (2016)

Leave a Reply