• Important Dates -->
  • 5/17: Rocky awards
  • 5/20: All School Awards (virtual)
  • 5/22: Region Track Champs
  • 5/23: Band Concert
  • 5/28: Orchestra Concert
  • 5/29: Chorus Concert
  • 6/4: Miscast Caberet
  • 6/6: Capstone Gala
The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


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Sincere Support: Ahmed Named LCPS “New Teacher of the Year”

After being thrust into her role as a long-term social science substitute teacher last year following a sudden staff departure, teaching newcomer Aisha Ahmed has persevered time and time again in her first year in the permanent position. Always putting students first, her effort and unwavering dedication to improving her classroom environment earned her the recognition of Loudoun County Public School’s “New Teacher of the Year.”
Surrounded by her colleagues from the social science department, Aisha Ahmed proudly displays her “New Teacher of the Year” award. “They did a really good job keeping it a surprise from me and I think it’s hopefully a testament to what I try to do,” Ahmed said. Photo courtesy of Katy Greiner Babcock.

A chance to come back to where it all started was the key to success for social science teacher Aisha Ahmed. A Phoenix graduate and substitute at Rock Ridge since 2021, Ahmed’s presence in the halls never faltered, a large part of why she was awarded the honor of LCPS “New Teacher of the Year.”

Following department fixture Danielle Donovan’s departure halfway through the 2022-2023 school year, Ahmed had the daunting task of taking over her U.S. History and AP Psychology classes. While any abrupt change in instruction can be difficult to navigate, preparing students for a heavily weighted College Board AP exam was one of many added stressors she had to face.

This hectic introduction left Ahmed more than prepared to make this school year her own. “A lot of last year was just survival, and once I got my own room and got my own kids, from the very beginning of the year it was easier to figure out,” Ahmed said. Stepping up to sponsor the Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society, as well as teaching the majority of the U.S. History sections this year on top of World History II, Ahmed had her work cut out for her. But her focus remained the same: supporting her young students. 

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“I think Colin [Pendergast] and I have had to do a lot of trial and error and figuring out what works, especially with different groups of students,” Ahmed said. “A lot of the stuff that will work with one of my classes won’t work with his, so [oftentimes] I will see what they preferred and give them several surveys [with questions like] ‘How do you prefer to learn?’”

Beyond classroom insight, Ahmed strove to be someone her students could always lean on as a trusted adult. “Everybody I know who became a teacher always did it for the impact that they have on the kids,” Ahmed said. “It’s definitely an honor to see that other people see the time that I’m putting in before school and after school, trying to work with kids one on one who have maybe not had that previously.”

Recognizing her position as someone younger than her teaching peers, Ahmed’s ability to relate more to her students has guaranteed a smooth class period. “I just try to see most students as people first and then get to know them,” Ahmed said.  “Figuring out how each kid works and learns best has been a big part of my learning path this year, particularly interacting and finding how to reach some of the kids who have maybe felt a little bit more left out or left behind in previous years.”

Ahmed will be honored at the April 23 school board meeting.

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About the Contributor
Tanishka Enugu
Tanishka Enugu, Editor In Chief
Tanishka Enugu is a senior and this is her fourth year on The Blaze staff! A passionate writer who appreciates the community the newspaper brings, she loves being able to represent the student body through the paper. Tanishka is also a huge history buff who strives to engage in all things related to the subject through her role as president of both the Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society, and the Academic Team here at the Rock. Formerly the sports section editor, she is also a four year member of the track and field team, and loves to watch and discuss all things hockey. Similar to some of her favorite pieces to write, she enjoys indulging in pop culture, good books, and even better TV shows during her free time.

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