Longwood’s Call Me Mister Alumni, Alexander Morton, was selected as Nottoway’s Middle School nomination for the 2022 Mary V. Bicouvaris Virginia Teacher of the Year Award. Morton who graduated from Longwood University in 2016 has been teaching at Nottoway Middle School for five years. Morton stated that “I was chosen from among a panel of four teachers-people who had 10+ years in the classroom.”

Mr. Morton stated that the Call Me MISTER program helped him to identify the skills he needed to become an effective educator. He also noted the importance of Dr. Denesse Jones, who implemented Longwood’s Call Me MISTER program, for his successes as a teacher. “She must have seen potential in me and foreseen the need to prepare me to use my words as an educational tool. I used to have a stutter, and I had issues pronouncing multisyllabic words. I spent the next three years attending one-hour sessions at the Longwood Speech, Hearing, and Learning Services. When I graduated, I was equipped with the tools to bring confidence in the classroom, and I still use the techniques I learned to this day.”

Dr. Maurice Carter, Director of the Call Me MISTER program, said, “Our theme continues to be: "We teach what we know, but we reproduce what we are." Mr. Alexander is a perfect example of our alumni producing effective and compassionate instruction not only to his school and students but also to his community.”

The Mary V. Bicouvaris Virginia Teacher of the Year Award is open to all teachers in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade who have a renewable teaching license in Virginia. The award also includes schools librarians, counselors, and reading specialists. Each school division superintendent submits their division’s nomination to the Virginia Department of Education. Eight regional teachers of the year are selected by a panel representing professional associations and other educational groups. The panel chooses the Virginia Teacher of the Year from the eight regional teachers who then represents Virginia in the National Teachers of the Year program.