Penn Forest Elementary School teacher receives Golden Apple Teacher of the Year award

Mary Alcoke is a first-grade teacher who is celebrating her 30th year in education

Mary Alcoke has been selected as the Golden Apple Teacher of the Year, a top honor for Roanoke County Public Schools. (Roanoke County Public Schools)

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – A Penn Forest Elementary School teacher is being honored for going above and beyond to make her students feel heard.

Mary Alcoke has been selected as the Golden Apple Teacher of the Year, a top honor for Roanoke County Public Schools.

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“Students who have a positive relationship with their teacher and feel valued by their teacher are more motivated and have a desire to learn,” said Alcoke.

Alcoke is a first-grade teacher who is celebrating her 30th year in education. Outside of regular instruction, she works to teach students how to listen to one another and respect each other’s differences.

With this award, Alcoke was given a check for $1,000 and will now become the nominee from Roanoke County Public Schools for the 2025 Virginia Teacher of the Year Award.

The RCPS Education Foundation also announced the Green and Red Apple Award winners, which are as follows:

  • Heather Wray – Kindergarten teacher at W.E. Cundiff Elementary
  • Karen Perry – science teacher at Northside Middle School
  • Chris Overfelt – motorsports and welding instructor at the Burton Center for Arts & Technology
  • Ryan Adams, a science teacher at William Byrd High School

Those winners were awarded $500 each.


About the Author

Jazmine Otey joined the 10 News team in February 2021.

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