Colin Powell Elementary School Teacher Named 2024 Washington Post Teacher of the Year

By Office of Communications
April 23, 2024

Laura Senturia, a fourth-grade teacher at Colin Powell Elementary School, has been named the 2024 Washington Post Teacher of the Year. This recognition is for educators who have exemplified excellence in their profession by inspiring learning, encouraging individual growth, demonstrating subject matter expertise, fostering collaboration, and leading by example. She was selected from a group of 19 finalists who teach at schools in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

Senturia has taught at Powell Elementary School since it first opened its doors in 2003 and is known for fostering a welcoming, collaborative environment inside and outside of the classroom. 

Laura Senturia, a teacher at Colin Powell Elementary School and the Washington Post 2024 Teacher of the Year

“Laura Senturia has dedicated her life to teaching children and those that have been given the opportunity to learn from and with her have been forever changed in the most amazing ways,” says nominator Jamie Luerssen, principal of Powell. “Ms. Senturia is the type of teacher that goes above and beyond to show her students how much she cares. Her love of children shines through in all that she does. For example, she is known to attend events outside of school such as little league games. As a result, her students know she cares about them and they thrive under her care.”

Senturia also serves as a mentor for fellow teachers, sponsors the Student Council Association, and has led fundraising initiatives to support: Pennies for Patients, building a school in Africa, providing a service dog for a veteran, buying books for a school in need, a food bank in California, the American Cancer Society, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, among others. 

Her nominators also spoke of Senturia’s dedication to all students, including those with learning or social challenges. One nominating parent says that Senturia has been a “superhero” to her family for creating a “safe space that allows students to learn and reach their highest potential.”

A graduate of Brandeis University and Lesley University, Senturia was recognized as the FCPS Honors 2023 Outstanding Elementary Teacher and also received Powell Elementary School’s 2016 Human Relations Award. As the Teacher of the Year, she will receive $7,500 and be profiled in the Washington Post and on the Post’s website


For more information, contact the Office of Communications at 571-423-1200