USAG Daegu joins district officials recognizing educator for 2022 DoDEA Teacher of the Year Award

By DoDEA Courtesy StoryMarch 22, 2022

CAMP WALKER, Republic of Korea — USAG Daegu joined district officials, faculty and staff recognizing Daegu Elementary School teacher Ms. Rachel Guilfoyle for receiving the 2022 Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Teacher of the Year Award on Mar. 17.

Ms. Guilfoyle is a 5th grade teacher and exemplary leader at Daegu Elementary School. She serves as co-chair of the school’s SQF Team, Fifth Grade Level Chair, and is a member of the Advanced Education/Gifted Committee. She has taught at DoDEA for over a decade in South Korea.

Daegu Elementary School Educator Earns 2022 Teacher of the Year Award

“Ms. Guilfoyle epitomizes student-centric learning and inclusivity,” said DoDEA Director Mr. Thomas M. Brady. “She has created a learning environment that is welcoming, and which promotes student growth and excellence. Her work with the Daegu Elementary School Living Museum Project helped set a new benchmark in expanding cultural responsiveness, diversity and awareness while fostering targeted learning within a larger academic environment. I am very pleased to announce Ms. Rachel Guilfoyle as the 2022 Teacher of the Year.”

Ms. Guilfoyle understands the needs of military-connected students, as she has been a military child, a surviving military spouse, a Gold star family member, and the mother of DoDEA students. Prior to joining DoDEA, she served as the Executive Assistant for the Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) and facilitated the opening of the HAA’s art integrated community learning space. Ms. Guilfoyle believes that learning can occur anytime and anywhere and encourages her students to embrace this belief.

Ms. Guilfoyle is the epitome of a lifelong learner. She loves to learn and share learning experiences with people from all backgrounds and demographics. Rachel participates in a number of professional learning communities and other learning platforms within and outside of DoDEA. Guilfoyle took a course to better understand the needs of children during COVID, as well as has taken courses on understanding the history of enslaved people. Ms. Guilfoyle considers the opportunity gap to be a public issue that she has addressed within and out of the classroom. Her approach to connecting with students’ real lives, showing students how to access prior knowledge, and taking a broader cultural approach to DoDEA’s CCRS, has strengthened students’ identities, activated their critical thinking, and closed the opportunity gaps for her students.

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“I am humbled and honored to be selected as the DODEA 2022 Teacher of the Year,” Ms. Guilfoyle said. “I believe education is not a static process—it is dynamic, challenging, engaging, life-long and personal. Education requires self- reflection to meet the highest standards of excellence to facilitate growth and change. I would like to thank my family, colleagues, administration, Pacific West District, and the military-connected students and parents for their support and encouragement. I look forward to representing the Pacific West District and DODEA in 2022.”

Ms. Guilfoyle has a Bachelor’s in Education from Macon State College, a Master’s in Literacy Education from Walden University, and is currently working on her Bachelor’s in Library Sciences from the University of Arizona.

Along with the public recognition and the award, Ms. Guilfoyle will gain entry into the National Teacher of the Year (NTOY) application pool and will be recognized by the President (pending scheduling) at a future event at The White House. Ms. Guilfoyle will also attend the NTOY Conference and participate in the Council of Chief of State School Officers (CCSSO)-sponsored Teacher of the Year events.

DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade education programs for school-aged children of Department of Defense personnel who would otherwise not have access to a high-quality public education. DoDEA schools are located in Europe, the Pacific, Western Asia, the Middle East, Cuba, the United States, Guam, and Puerto Rico. DoDEA also provides support and resources to Local Educational Activities throughout the U.S. that serve children of military families.

USAG Daegu is committed to being an Assignment of Choice and making the installations Great Places to Live and Work by providing excellent quality of life support and programs for military communities.