Gregory Lyndaker may have to add a trophy shelf to his classroom. The Henrico High School psychology teacher was named Thursday as one of Virginia’s eight 2020 regional teachers of the year. In May Henrico County Public Schools named Lyndaker the school division’s top teacher for 2019.
Local, state and school leaders surprised Lyndaker Thursday morning with an announcement at a school assembly for Henrico High School seniors.
One of the eight regional winners will be selected as the commonwealth’s 2020 teacher of the year, an honor that will be announced Oct. 7 in a ceremony at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Lyndaker was selected as the winner for Region 1, which stretches from Goochland to Sussex and includes 15 counties and cities in Central Virginia. The 2020 Virginia Teacher of the Year will be the commonwealth’s nominee in the National Teacher of the Year awards.
“It’s amazing,” said Lyndaker, who said he expects the award to be a motivator. “I always enjoy sports and it’s almost like this is one of those things that pushes you to the next level. You start getting named a top teacher – or in any profession or area – you want to up your game, you want to make yourself better.”
Lyndaker said he wants his students to leave Henrico with “… a love of learning. Whether it’s psychology, math, science, whatever they’re going to go on to, just instilling in them the idea that it’s good to learn, find new things and always continue to grow.”
He said the award “shows where we are as a school division and here at Henrico in particular, that we continue to innovate. It will push us to continue to innovate more and continue to find new ways to teach our kids.”
Lyndaker teaches Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes at Henrico. He has taught at the school since 2013. He is originally from Watertown, N.Y., attended Utica College, and is an alumnus of the State University of New York College at Potsdam. Before joining the Henrico High School faculty, Lyndaker taught at a middle school in upstate New York and at the Virginia Home for Boys and Girls.
A panel reviewed nominees’ portfolios and selected the eight regional teachers of the year. The panel included classroom teachers, representatives of professional and educational associations, and representatives from the business community. The same panel will interview each of the eight regional teachers to select the 2020 Virginia Teacher of the Year.