Virginia Association for Driver Education and Traffic Safety named Wakefield High School’s Tony Bentley the Behind the Wheel Teacher of the Year. The announcement was made at the state virtual meeting Fri, Oct. 1 in front of 140 driver education teachers and the Virginia Department of Education Specialists for Health, PE & Driver Ed.
Bentley was nominated for his dedication to students and how he made sure students were engaged when in-person classes were paused. “Mr. Bentley recognizes how important it is for a teen to be able to drive and drive safely! He always explains that this privilege opens independence, freedom, and many opportunities that need to be respected. Mr. Bentley not only teaches safety behind the wheel but also important life lessons,” said Health and PE Supervisor Debbie DeFranco.
Parents call Bentley a mentor and are appreciative of the time he spends with students. “Mr. Bentley is a mentor, and my son as a driving student was enthusiastic about each driving session. I hold Mr. Bentley in high regard. He represents the very best of what an educator should be. He doesn’t just ‘punch the clock,’ he cares about the community of students he serves. Mr. Bentley is the benchmark for professionalism and experience,” said a parent of a Wakefield student.
Bentley will receive admission and a free hotel stay at next year’s Virginia Association for Driver Education and Traffic Safety which provides professional development to driving instructors.