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Loudoun educators honored by national newspaper

Two Loudoun County educators have been honored by The Washington Post for their contributions in education.

Steuart Weller Elementary School principal Janet Platenberg has been award the 2013 Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leadership Award for Loudoun County. The award recognizes Platenberg as the county's Principal of the Year.

Platenberg helped open Steuart Weller in 2008 and has been the school's only principal.

"From our first faculty meeting, we quickly realized it was time to move away from previous school identities. Janet began our journey of creating the Weller Wildcats so students, parents and faculty could begin to take ownership of our school," said art teacher Julie Galvin, who also helped open the school.

Platenberg has also helped bring new programs to the school, including participating in National Geographic's Big Cat Initiative with a sister school in Tanzania and organizing TEDxAshburn to help explore new technology and education practices.

Platenberg earned her bachelor's degree in elementary education from Baldwin-Wallace College and received her master's degree in administration and education leadership from George Washington. In Loudoun, she previously worked at Potowmack and Lowes Island elementary schools.

Lisa Roth, a first grade teacher at Dominion Trail, received the Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award for Loudoun County. The award honors the county's top teacher.

Roth's nomination packet noted her dedication to not only the teaching craft, but her students.

"Not only was she an outstanding teacher, but she went above and beyond. She always greeted us with a smile and made me feel safe and loved," said Hannah Butcher, one of Roth's former students. "She taught me to be kind and value my education."

Roth's colleagues echoed the sentiment.

“Lisa has inspired me to be a better colleague,” wrote Dominion Trail technology resource teacher Beth Fisher. “She’s taught me we are here to help each other. She has encouraged me to focus on each individual’s strengths. Not only is Lisa’s heart full of love for each of her students … she has a heart full of love for her colleagues. She has brought me to tears because of how she cares for the people she works with as well as the precious children in her classroom."

Roth graduated from Guildford College and has taught in North Carolina, Florida and Virginia. She has been at Dominion Trail since 2002.


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