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In addition to our focus on student scholarships and teacher induction, we award special grants with a single purpose: helping students, teachers and schools to grow stronger. Listed below are the grants we offer to support that purpose.

College Access Fairfax

College Access Fairfax helps students aquire financial aid for post-secondary education.

Learning Forward Virginia

Learning Forward Virginia helps develop the capacity of school staffs to meet the needs of all students through professional learning communities.

Virginia Teacher of the Year

Virginia Teacher of the Year recognizes outstanding Virginia classroom teachers.

2015 Virginia Teacher of the Year

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced the selection of Natalie DiFusco-Funk, a fifth-grade teacher at West Salem Elementary in Salem, as the 2016 Virginia Teacher of the Year. The announcement took place October 19, during a reception at the Executive Mansion in Richmond.

Natalie is recognized by her peers, by her principal, by the superintendents of her region – and now by the commonwealth – as the best of the best,” Governor McAuliffe said. “As the 2016 Virginia Teacher of the Year, Natalie will represent the tens of thousands of outstanding classroom educators whose creativity, content knowledge and love of teaching have made Virginia’s public schools among the best in the nation.”

Apple FCU has been a staunch supporter of this recognition program since 2008, commissioning a special ring for the finalists. The ring, which reads Virginia Teacher of the Year 2016, includes the Apple logo on one side and the recipient’s name on the other. In addition, the winner is awarded $5,000 for use in her classroom.

DiFusco-Funk said she knew she wanted to be a teacher on her first day of school as a fifth grader. “There was no other career path for me, and it was literally a dream come true when I began my career 12 years ago,” she said.

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