Excellent Educators is a WAVY-TV 10 initiative to celebrate local teachers who have gone above and beyond for their students and communities during the last academic year. These Excellent Educators were nominated by their school divisions. Congratulations to these educators for all of their hard work and accomplishments!

Name: Carie Hatfield

Division: Portsmouth Public Schools

Position: French teacher at Churchland High School

What the school division said about this Excellent Educator: Carie Hatfield is a superb French teacher who implements research-based best practices in her classroom while creating an immersive experience for world language learners. Not only is she an outstanding classroom teacher, but she also serves our school on so many levels as our World Language Department chair, National Honor Society advisor, Tutoring and SOL Prep Program administrator, Behavior Intervention Team leader, and a mentor for new and experienced teachers. She serves as president of the Virginia Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF), and continues to serve the VDOE by being regularly selected to serve on the Governor’s World Language Academy Selection Committee. Hatfield is also a fixture at Churchland High School extracurricular activities as she gives of her precious time to support students outside of the classroom as well. She works tirelessly to support our students, our teachers, our community and our district in every way she can.

WAVY-TV 10’s Regina Mobley had the opportunity to interview this educator.

Ms. Carie Hatfield, a veteran French teacher at Churchland High School in Portsmouth, has a sweet formula that unlocks the fear of learning a foreign language.

“So we immediately pull in recognizable words so it’s not so intimidating and when the teacher says something like ‘Le professeur aime le chocolate.’ Everyone can find that intangible, starting with information that’s accessible to the students, translated: The teacher loves chocolate,” said Hatfield.

She says she also loves to incorporate cross-curriculum activities.

“We immediately look for connections with our English studies our English language even cross-curriculum terms you’ve learned in your Social Studies classes or your math class,” said Hatfield.

Whether it’s Bogart’s Casablanca or soap sculptures, Ms. Hatfield uses visuals for her audience of students who absorb her lessons with rapt attention.

“Whether I hold something up or act it out or I point to something to give them something to ground if they are not sure about a word. The heart of what we do is connecting with students and the stronger connection you have with them, the more they trust you to make sure that they are getting the content they need,” said Hatfield.

A visit to Hatfield’s class offers a reprieve from the stream of news stories across the country that examine why educators and education systems- from grade school to higher ed-are under attack and the horrifying cases of school shootings.

“I let my students know how much I care about them here [Churchland High School] every day,” said Hatfield.

Students say the content Hatfield shares is essential as they learn to effectively communicate with their peers and others around the world and at home.

“Architecture and history…is interesting and how many people use this language as a whole,” said Dae Quan Thomas.

Vanessa Fadden’s skills were pressed into action during a recent visit to Norfolk.

“I was walking with my family in Norfolk we were walking around town and there was this French and they needed directions I was not able to translate quite yet exactly but I did understand what they were saying I was able to help them,” said Fadden with pride.

Ms. Hatfield’s dedication to academics extends beyond the walls of her classroom. She is the World Language Department Chair, a National Honor Society Advisor, a Tutoring and SOL Prep Program Administrator, and a member of the Behavior Intervention Team.