Erin Balch, a recent graduate of the Art Education program at Old Dominion University, was recently recognized as Meritorious New Teacher at a celebratory dinner at Old Dominion University. Erin is a first-year art teacher at Salem High School in Virginia Beach and represents an extremely select group. Only 165 out of a pool of 3,000 first-year teachers in Virginia have been recognized as Meritorious New Teacher Candidates. The Meritorious New Teacher Candidate (MNTC) designation is an initiative of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Teachers Project, which is designed to recognize and reward exceptionally well-prepared new teachers. Similar to National Board Certification, this designation is one of professional accomplishment for prospective teachers who excelled at every phase of preparation and demonstrated a deep commitment to high expectations for all children.