AHS Teacher Named Top in Region I

Atlee High School Teacher Named 2025 Virginia Regional Teacher of the Year
Posted on 04/15/2024
Avanti YamamotoA Press Release from the Virginia Department of Education:

Avanti Kollaram Yamamoto, a mathematics teacher at Hanover County Public Schools’ Atlee High School, has been named the 2025 Virginia Regional Teacher of the Year (Region 1) by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). Yamamoto has served as a teacher and mentor for more than 10 years, eight of which have been at Atlee High School.

“Mrs. Yamamoto challenges every one of her students to not just learn the rigorous math concepts in her classroom, but she also makes the math relevant and applies every lesson to real life,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Lisa Coons. “Her instructional strategies are recognized and elevated. As a teacher leader, she supports other math teachers in her school in developing strong instructional skills. I am proud to present Mrs. Yamamoto with this award today and celebrate the exceptional support she provides and the impact she makes on her students, fellow educators, and within her community.”

“Avanti Yamamoto is a personal, energetic, and dynamic educator. We are so proud and excited that she is being recognized for her passionate work with our Hanover County students,” said Senator Ryan McDougle.

“I am thrilled the Mrs. Yamamoto has been selected as Teacher of the Year for Region 1,” said Delegate Hyland “Buddy” Fowler, Jr. “Mrs. Yamamoto is a fantastic teacher and brings a lot of skill and enthusiasm to the classroom. Atlee High School is blessed and no doubt proud to have Avanti Yamamoto in their classroom.”

“I would like to congratulate Atlee High School’s Avanti Yamamoto on her selection as the Region 1 Teacher of the Year,” said Delegate Scott Wyatt. “Her commitment and dedication to her students in math and science learning truly prepares our youth for successful career paths and their future.”

Yamamoto did not always want to be a teacher, however, in her heart she knew she had a passion for working with children and mathematics. During her third year at Virginia Commonwealth University, Yamamoto made the decision to pursue a career in education. She strived to make math come alive for students and share how it applies to real-life situations. She was also determined to show students that math is not scary and help them believe that they are “math people.”

After 10 years as a mathematics teacher, she has done just that. Yamamoto has worked with a wide range of students – from special education to advanced math classes – and has reached all students regardless of socio-economic status, learning aptitude, or math background. She gears her teaching approach towards thinking and logic versus procedure and mimicry. She encourages this mindset with her colleagues and plans effective professional learning to support them in their own classrooms.

“Avanti was very much born to be a teacher,” said Atlee High School Principal Dr. John Wheeler. “She is a teacher who inspires her students to think on a level they didn’t know was possible.”

Yamamoto teaches all high school grade levels and has served as Atlee High School’s Math Department Lead since 2020. In 2023, she served as the school’s Literacy & Numeracy Action Team Leader and was a member of the 2023 VDOE Algebra II Standards of Learning End of Course Exam New Item Review Committee. She also participated in the Hanover County National Board Certification Cohort from 2020-2022 and the Hanover County Building Thinking Classrooms Book Study from 2022-2023.

A pillar in her community, Yamamoto spends her free time serving various organizations and clubs. She is currently a member of the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. She also serves as the Key Club International Sponsor at Atlee High School. Formerly, she was a member of the Kiwanis Club of Richmond, an administrator for all Key Clubs in Hanover, Henrico, Chesterfield, and Richmond City Schools, and the lieutenant governor as well as the class president for all Kiwanis Clubs in Hanover, Richmond, and Chesterfield Counties.

Yamamoto has received several accolades in recent years. She was named the 2025 Hanover County Public Schools Teacher of the Year, the 2025 Atlee High School Teacher of the Year, and was a 2022 Hanover County Innovator of the Year finalist. Yamamoto has also been named a Hanover Scholars Honored Educator every year since 2018.

A National Board Certified teacher, Yamamoto received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Virginia Commonwealth University and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in education from James Madison University.

The announcement of Yamamoto’s nomination coincided with a surprise classroom visit from Superintendent Coons. Yamamoto and the seven other regional Teachers of the Year will join the Teacher Advisory Council, helping elevate the voices and perspectives of all Virginia teachers on VDOE’s work.

All eight Regional Teachers of the Year are nominees for the 2025 Mary V. Bicouvaris Virginia Teacher of the Year Award. The final Virginia Teacher of the Year Award will be announced later this spring.
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