White House recognizes Daegu 2022 DoDEA Teacher of the Year

By Courtesy StoryMay 24, 2022

CAMP WALKER, Republic of Korea — The White House recognized Daegu Elementary School teacher Ms. Rachel Guilfoyle 2022 Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Teacher of the Year as part of an annual ceremony for top national and state teachers.

The National Teachers of the Year Ceremony is an annual tradition at the White House recognizing top teachers in the United States.

2022 DoDEA Teacher of the Year Rachel Guilfoyle recognizes teachers for their dedication and service to military connected students.

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.

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“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.

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.