Alumna Jennifer Marchessault Named the Virginia Reading Teacher of the Year

Jennifer Kohart Marchessault, a 2000 alumna of the Master of Education and Reading Specialist Certificate program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Education, has been named the Virginia State Literacy Association’s Ofie T. Rubin Reading Teacher of the Year.

Each year, every Virginia Literacy Association local chapter council nominates one outstanding teacher to compete for the award. The award recognizes educators who exemplify an outstanding commitment and contributions to the field of literacy education.

“When I first received the news, I couldn’t believe it,” says Marchessault, a reading specialist at Crestwood Intermediate School in Chesapeake, Virginia. “I honestly did not believe that I would be chosen at the state level, which is truly a humbling experience that made me reflect on my career in the best way.”

Along with the distinction of being Reading Teacher of the Year, the award provides a $1,000 Professional Development Award. Marchessault will be recognized at the 2022 Virginia State Literacy Association Conference in Crystal City, Virginia on March 17.

As a proud Pitt Education alumna, Marchessault says the knowledge and experiences she gained within the School of Education contributed immensely to her success as an educator.

“I would never be where I am today without my education from Pitt,” says Marchessault. “The rigor of the content and the mastery level of the professors have shaped so many aspects of my career, and I never once felt like I was missing pieces or that I was not prepared for anything in my field.”

Since graduating from Pitt, Marchessault has completed two additional master’s degrees and her doctorate. Throughout her journey in the education field, Marchessault has been able to apply what she learned at Pitt Education and inspire a new generation of educators.

“I try to pattern the way I teach after my professors at Pitt,” says Marchessault. “I  hope all who graduate from similar programs feel the same sense of confidence in their content knowledge as Pitt has instilled in me.”

Learn More

The Pitt Education MEd and Reading Specialist Certificate program is now accepting applications. For information, please contact