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Melissa Ann Porfirio is a first grade teacher at Crestwood Elementary School in Springfield, Virginia with more than eight years' teaching experience. "My personal mission is to better understand the whole child," Porfirio said. "I am committed to creating a classroom community that supports students' learning and maximum potential." A member of the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers, she has received several awards, including the Virginia Teachers of Promise Award and the Educational Testing Service (ETS) Recognition of Excellence. Porfirio is involved in staff development training through her role as cohort facilitator and committee chair for responsive classroom training, and as a mentor to two first-year teachers. She is a graduate of The Catholic University of America with a B.A. in social work, and also holds an M.A. of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from George Mason University.
The National Teacher of the Year Program is run by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Every year states select a teacher of the year to participate in the National Teacher of the Year Program. A panel convened by CCSSO, representing 15 national education organizations, chose the four finalists from the 2014 state teachers of the year. The selection committee will personally interview each finalist before selecting the National Teacher of the Year, to be announced in April by CCSSO. The President of the United States recognizes the National Teacher of the Year in a White House ceremony.