Stewart was selected for region 4 in the Commonwealth, and is one of eight teachers statewide to receive the recognition.
According to a release from Gov. Bob McDonnell's office, Stewart is a special education teacher of students with moderate intellectual disabilities at OPHS.
Stewart was surprised by the announcement from Superintendent Steven Walts this morning. Prince William County Public Schools posted a picture of Stewart and Walts after the announcement.
The teachers were selected from among candidates nominated by school divisions in each of the state’s eight superintendents’ regions.
"The candidates submitted portfolios highlighting their accomplishments, educational philosophies and community activities," said a press release. "A panel, including classroom teachers, representatives of professional and educational associations, the business community and 2012 Virginia Teacher of the Year Margaret A. "Meg" Smith of Lynchburg reviewed the portfolios — and letters of recommendation from divisions, colleagues and supporters — and selected the eight regional teachers of the year."
Each of the eight teachers will be interviewed next month to be selected as the 2013 Virginia Teacher of the Year.
“No one has a greater impact on student learning in the classroom than teachers,” said McDonnell in a release. “Virginia is blessed to have so many excellent teachers who recognize that every child can learn and motivate them to achieve. It is important that we recognize those excellent teachers and I commend these eight educators for their incredible devotion to the growth of their students.”