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Kelisa Wing ’08, Bachelor of Arts in English, is the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Teacher of the Year―a program that recognizes and honors exemplary teachers grades Pre-K through 12.

Wing teaches English Language Arts to eighth-grade students, all military dependents, at the DOD funded Faith Middle School at Ft. Benning Army Installation, Georgia.

As a veteran and a military spouse, she not only understands the special challenges her students face every day. Wing also is skilled at helping them cope with their ever-changing life circu

mstances, such as a parent’s long-term or repeated deployment, frequent moves, and separation from extended family and friends―while making sure they succeed academically, too.

Dr. Linda Curtis, principal deputy director and associate director for education at DoDEA commented that Wing’s educational philosophy, which is grounded in the belief that students who value themselves ultimately value education, is critical to her success in the classroom.

“She involves students, parents and her peers in her lessons to connect with students on their level, incorporate [students'] personalities and experiences in their writing, and use the skills [students] develop in her class to build on and connect with other classes they take. DoDEA is extremely fortunate to have her in the classroom,” Curtis said.

Wing, who earned her Master in Secondary Education degree from University of Phoenix, said she cherishes her experience at University of Maryland University College (UMUC.)

“The courses I took [on-site] and online at UMUC were very impactful on my success in the classroom today,” Wing said.

“I distinctly remember one professor in particular from the Europe campus, Dr. Andrew Sola, who never accepted anything less than the best from me. The structure, discipline, and attention to detail that he provided me are values that I pass along to my students every day. I am grateful for UMUC and the outstanding teaching and learning that I received as a result of my time [there].”

As part of the 2017 DoDEA Teacher of the Year recognition, Wing will be entered into the National Teacher of the Year application pool and she will be recognized by the President at a future White House event. She will also attend the National Teacher of the Year Conference in Arizona and participate in Teacher of the Year events sponsored by Council of Chief of State School Officers (CCSSO).