Teacher honored with the award during surprise school visit

Beth Marshall, a French teacher at Spotsylvania County Public Schools’ Riverbend High School, has been named the 2025 Virginia Regional Teacher of the Year (Region 3) by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). Marshall has served as a teacher and mentor for 27 years, 11 of which have been at Riverbend High School.

“Ms. Marshall consistently elevates foreign language educators and serves in many leadership roles,” said Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction Lisa Coons. “Her optimism and energy make her French classrooms an exciting place to learn. I am thrilled to present her with this award today and help shine a light on the significant difference she has made in the lives of so many.” 

Also in attendance was Senator Tara Durant, who presented Marshall with a resolution commending the nearly three decades of service she’s dedicated to educating and supporting students. "Beth Marshall is the type of teacher that every parent wants their child to have, and teaches the class that every student wants to get into,” said Durant. “I am so grateful she's landed here in our community!"

"Ms. Marshall is an exceptional educator and truly deserving of this distinguished honor," shared Spotsylvania County Public Schools Interim Superintendent Mr. Kelly Guempel. "Her commitment to students and her colleagues to build relationships that foster a love of learning is inspiring."

Marshall developed a passion for teaching and learning at a young age. She studied abroad in France and fell in love with the beauty of the French language. Marshall teaches all high school grade levels and makes community and connections the core of her teaching philosophy.

Providing a welcoming, immersive classroom experience, Marshall connects her students to the global world and generates excitement through engaging activities. Her students learn the importance of working in teams and fostering an environment of respect and responsibility. Her goal is that upon graduation, students understand that they are citizens of the world, whether they leave Virginia or not.

Highly engaged outside of the classroom as well, Marshall has been a member of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages since 2019 and a member of the Foreign Language Association of Virginia since 2007. She served as the organization’s President Elect for 2024 and 2025 and will serve again in 2026 and 2027. Marshall is also a member of the American Association of the Teachers of French and has been a member at large of the leadership team for Virginia since 2022. She has facilitated the French honor society and French club at Riverbend High School since 2013.

A firm believer in the value of collaboration and teamwork, Marshall is an involved leader among her colleagues. She has served as the World Language Department Chair since 2014 and is currently the lead facilitator of a team at Riverbend High School striving to improve chronic absenteeism. Marshall has mentored new teachers in Spotsylvania County since 2012 and facilitated French teachers in the county from 2015-2018 and again from 2022 to present day.

Marshall’s impact can be felt across the Commonwealth. She dedicated her time and efforts to leading the rewriting of the French curriculum, rubrics, and placement tests for Spotsylvania County from 2012-2022. She was also chosen to participate in a lead team of 30 teachers and administrators to rewrite the Standards of Learning for World Language in Virginia in 2020. She developed and facilitated the annual French Convention for French teachers in Spotsylvania and four neighboring counties from 2013-2018. Marshall was also a National AP French reader in 2018 and 2019.

“Ms. Marshall is a leader in our school community,” said Riverbend High School Interim Principal Cherilynn Bickerstaff. “Her contributions extend far beyond her classroom. She is one of the key figures we rely on to support positive changes in our school.”

Marshall received a bachelor’s degree in French and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Xavier University in 1994. She is currently pursuing her master’s in educational leadership from George Mason University.

The announcement of Marshall’s nomination coincided with a surprise classroom visit from Superintendent Coons. Marshall and the seven other regional Teachers of the Year, who have not all yet been announced, will join a Teacher Advisory Council, helping elevate the voices and perspectives of all Virginia teachers on VDOE’s work.  

All eight Regional Teachers of the Year are nominees for the 2025 Mary V. Bicouvaris Virginia Teacher of the Year Award. The final Virginia Teacher of the Year Award will be announced later this spring.

Beth Marshal l Region III 2025 Teacher of the Year Winner