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Sara DeYoung, second from left, is the 2022 “Teacher of the Year” at Liberty Middle School. Administrators presenting her award included Liberty Principal Shannon Brown, from left, Superintendent Dr. Ed Nichols and Director of Special Education Dr. Susan Zinkil. CONTRIBUTED

DeYoung honored as Liberty’s ‘Teacher of the Year’

MADISON – In her philosophy for education, Sara DeYoung believes her work must begin with building positive relationships with students. DeYoung’s colleagues at Liberty Middle School selected her as the 2022 “Teacher of the Year.”

“I believe every student learns best when they feel like a valued member of the classroom, and this (approach) enhances student learning,” DeYoung said.

“Before I taught for Madison City Schools, I taught at Gar-Field High School in Woodbridge, Va. for 12 years. I was a math collaborative teacher,” DeYoung said.

Gar-Field’s unconventional naming resulted from philanthropic actions of two residents for the prospective school. Gilmer Garber, a local farmer, and Grover Manderfield, a businessperson from the area, donated 20 acres of land on which a high school would be built. (gar-fieldhs.pwcs.edu/our_school)

DeYoung’s affiliation with the Madison district started when she accepted an assignment at Heritage Elementary School in October 2017.

“The following year, I went to Liberty Middle School, and I have been at Liberty for the last four years as a collaborative teacher,” DeYoung said.

DeYoung received a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in education from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va. “I received my master’s degree from Mary Washington University in Fredericksburg, Va. with a master of education,” DeYoung said.

She is married to Micah DeYoung; he works for SMX. Her 13-year-old son attends Liberty, and her 17-year-old son is a student at James Clemens High School.

“My hobbies outside of school are walking with my dog, hanging out with my family and traveling to new places,” Sara said.

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