Ledesma and Battiste Receive District Teacher of the Year Honors in U.S. Virgin Islands

Ledesma and Battiste Receive District Teacher of the Year Honors in U.S. Virgin Islands  Melvin M. Ledesma and Astral Battiste have been named the 2022-2023 District Teachers of the Year in the U.S. Virgin Islands, recognizing their outstanding contributions to education. Ledesma, a math teacher at the Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School (BCB) in the St. Thomas-St. John District, and Battiste, a kindergarten teacher at the Pearl B. Larsen PreK-8 School in the St. Croix District, have demonstrated their commitment, passion and exceptional teaching skills.

Ledesma, who hails from the Philippines, has been praised for his ingenuity and service-oriented approach in the classroom. Principal Terence Corbett of BCB commended Ledesma’s problem-solving abilities, stating, “We have seen Mr. Ledesma in the classroom and outside of the classroom doing great things with our teachers, students and parents. I call him that algorithm—where there is a problem, he always knows how to fix it.” Ledesma’s dedication to his students extends beyond academics; he initiated house visits to encourage parental support, recognizing that education is key to success.

With an impressive educational background, the St. Thomas-St. John District Teacher of the Year’s expertise in mathematics has made a significant impact on his students. Having earned a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education, a master’s degree in Mathematics and recently completing the requirements for a PhD in Science Education, specializing in Mathematics, he brings a wealth of knowledge to his classroom. Ledesma’s passion for teaching shines through his work, and his commitment to shaping young minds has been widely recognized.

Astral Battiste, the kindergarten teacher at Pearl B. Larsen PreK-8 School, has also garnered praise for her exemplary teaching methods and dedication to her students. Principal Loretta Moorehead highlighted Battiste’s outstanding ratings over the past three years and her collaborative approach with colleagues and parents. Battiste’s classroom is known for its creative and inspiring decorations and parents eagerly await the opportunity for their children to be placed in her class each year.

The St. Croix District Teacher of the Year’s love for teaching young children is evident in her mantra, “it takes a big heart to shape little minds.” She infuses her lessons with a touch of love and nurturing, recognizing the importance of fostering growth in her students. Battiste’s genuine excitement for her students’ learning journey is palpable, as she stated, “Watching them explore concepts and learn different subjects as they begin to learn about the world has inspired me to keep fostering growth into these little humans.”

Melvin M. Ledesma and Astral Battiste have proven themselves as dedicated educators who go above and beyond to provide an exceptional learning experience for their students. Their recognition as District Teachers of the Year is a testament to their hard work, passion and commitment to education. As they move forward to compete for the title of State Teacher of the Year, Ledesma and Battiste serve as role models for their fellow educators and the community as a whole.


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