An event about fall leaf collection turned into a celebration when D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and acting State Superintendent Christina Grant announced the 2022 D.C. Teacher of the Year before an audience of students, colleagues and even the recipient’s daughter.
Dominique Foster, a pre-K 4 teacher at Friendship Public Charter School [PCS] Blow Pierce Campus in Northeast, beamed with pride as she accepted the honor and a $7,500 check on the afternoon of Thursday, Oct. 28.
With her daughter standing nearby, Foster approached the podium and shook hands with Bowser and Grant before thanking her supervisor, colleagues and students.
“Thank you, guys. I love Friendship PCS Blow Pierce [and] I’m not leaving right now,” Foster said. “This has always been home. The resources you provide are why we excel. You’re family and everyone I work with, I love you.”
Grant said the Office of the State Superintendent of Education [OSSE] chose Foster, a teacher of nearly two decades in her ninth year at Friendship PCS Blow Pierce, from among thousands of candidates because of her unique dedication to the profession. Earlier this year she aided her school in its efforts to fully transition to in-person learning.
During that time, Foster maintained close communication with families, including those she collaborated with on virtual instruction. Since in-person classes started this year, Foster has used video conferencing apps and lunchtime activities to reunite parents with preschoolers experiencing separation anxiety after more than a year at home.
“Everyone knows how great you are [because] you’re on the frontlines to make sure our children learn in person and virtually,” Grant said. “Through your commitment of service, you transformed the school community. I am grateful for what you have done.”
As 2022 D.C. Teacher of the Year, Foster will have access to professional development opportunities and represent the District in the 2022 National Teacher of the Year competition. Under OSSE rules, award recipients must be able to inspire and accelerate student growth, build strong partnerships with families and communities and champion the teaching profession.
Dawn Scott, elementary school director at Friendship PCS Blow Pierce Campus, said Foster fits the profile of a top-notch instructor. She touted Foster’s penchant for creating an engaging classroom environment, bringing the best out of her students and doing what it takes to ensure they excel in the classroom.
“Ms. Foster is laser-focused on the work and she makes sure her students become well-rounded,” said Scott, who’s been in her role for nearly five years.
“She speaks to them as scholars. She’s a lifelong learner and uses it to change the trajectory of her students. They are always prepared for the next grade level. Ms. Foster does a beautiful job to make sure what she does is done from the heart,” Scott said.