Natalie DiFusco-Funk is a 5th grade teacher at West Salem Elementary School in Salem, Virginia, and the 2016 Virginia State Teacher of the Year. Natalie earned both her bachelor’s degree in education and master’s degree as a reading specialist from Boston College. Go Eagles! She began her career teaching 4th grade in Newton, MA, and moved to Virginia in 2010 after meeting a Southern gentleman, who is now her husband! In Virginia she served as a reading specialist for a year, and has been teaching 5th grade since 2011. Natalie’s classroom is built on the foundation that addressing social emotional learning is essential to developing kind and contributing members of society. When not in the classroom or traveling as Virginia Teacher of the Year, Natalie is busy chasing her young son Frankie.