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Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow is part of Career and Technical Education at BTEC. For the entire fall semester, six students have been visiting Breckinridge Elementary School and observing and teaching units under supervison. Elizabeth Mauck is the instructor for the class. The six students are Juliet Harris, Amanda Leonard, Brittany Cox, Danielle Beckner, Heather Clinebell and Samantha Cahoon. Four go to Lord Botetourt and two are students at James River. They are juniors and seniors who want to be teachers in the future.
Said Juliet Harris arrived with an Elf application to work on language arts with Mrs. Anne Swandby’s second grade class, “I really love this class. I know I want to teach. I taught Math in the third grade. I think the classroom experience will give me a boost over my college classmates.”
Her co-teacher in the room was Heather Clinebell who walked around the room assiting students with spelling. “It has been an awesome experience. It has helped me understand what it will take to become a teacher.”
Swandby was effusive in her praise. “I wish this program had been around during my college years. These young girls have a passion for teaching and it shows.”
Mauck spoke with Cahoon as she headed to her classroom to do a reading unit. ” It has been a busy and great working experience. There is never a dull moment in elementary school,” said Cahoon. Mauck noted, “For them to have the experience so they already know what teaching is like, is a real plus in their career choice. ”
Danielle Beckner had the third grade students of JoAnn Walthall engaged. The students responded to her questions withthoughtful answers. Said Walthall, “She has done everything from keeping the class under control to being well prepared for each unit.”
Amanda Leornard spent the morning with the special education preschool students also a key part of the rotation through the lower elementary curriculmn.
In the other third grade class, Brittany Cox taught a Math unit on graphing using M&M’s. The students listened intenetly on how to label the graph and record results on the x and y axis. Said teacher Wendy Coleman, ” She is wonderful. I wish I could have her all of the time.” Students enthusiastically responded to Cox and her questions as she marked the classroom Promethian Board with the results.
Besides hands on experience, the class has studied what an educator needs to know from childhood learning skills through to dressing professionally. As far as a career, there are six young people in Botetourt who now plan to be teachers for certain from ther CTE class experience!
Nellie Ward who is an attendance officer at Central Academy Middle School, has been gathering toys for Botetourt children for about ten years in the Toys for Bot-E-Tots campaign. She was named the second annual Richard Henegar Community Kindness Award winner at the Rachel’s Challenge event on Friday, Dec. 13. The award was presented at half time at the varsity boys game between Lord Botetourt and James River over in Springwood.
Ward who is a mother and grandmother herself, takes children to heart at Christmas. The past two years a Poker Run to buy gifts for angels at Botetourt Social Services has been added. Ward is a shopper looking for value. “I was able to buy coats online through Macy’s for $15.99 each and they were $80 coats! You have to do what you can to make the money last.” For the past decade, hundreds of Botetourt children– the toys go only to Botetourt County children– have received thousands of donated toys. ” I am very excited to win this award and want to thank all of the people who help me.”
Other events took place during the night from temporary tatoos, to face painting, to a cornhole tournament and inflatables. A race between secondary principals took place during half time of the varisty game. Jamie Talbot of JRHS was the easy winner of the race!
Robin Littlefield of the Rescue Mission accepted a donation from Rachel’s Challenge coordinator JRHS club Interact’s Sharon Keith. during the week each of the schools had specific activities addressing the need for kindness.
Dr. Tony Brads told the school board on Dec. 12, ” We have two calendars for 2014-15 in the works. One of the calendars is for a pre Labor Day opening and the other is a post Labor Day start.” The reason is the lack of enough snow days to fit the state requirement, though a waiver had been issued for western counties by the VDOE and the General Assemble in the past two years.
The waiver is based on the worst five years of ten and Botetourt does not have five really bad years in the past ten for snow or weather related closings to qualify for a pre Labor Day opening without a waiver.
Brads reminded the board that the tourism business has a heavy lobby in Richmond that supports after Labor Day school openings.
Hope however is on the horizon. Brads told the board. ” Sen. Steve Newman our Senator in the General Assembly, plans to sponsor a bill letting the waiver become permanent for the inclement weather scenario.” They hope that a companion bill will be introduced in the House of Delegates.
No one in the room could recall a time when Botetourt County public schools had started after Labor Day. Michael Beahm of the Valley District believed it was in the early 1960s.
Cloverdale school nurse Kae Bruch with Ruth Wallace.
Kae Bruch of Cloverdale Elementary School with her principal Jessica Martin in tow, was recognized for her achievement at the Botetourt County School Board on Dec. 12. She is Botetourt County’s first school nurse to become president of the Virginia School Nurse’s Association. Bruch priased the school division for doing the school nurse program correctly at the beginning of the program.Julia Baker, Supervisor of Special Education and School Health gave the following remarks about Bruch:
“Kae Bruch, RN, began public health service in 1984 as an EMS provider with the Virginia Tech Rescue Squad. She holds EMT- Enhanced certification and is Firefighter qualified. In 1995, she graduated from Virginia Western Community College with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Nursing.”
“After graduation, and passing her boards, she began her School Nurse career in Botetourt County Public Schools, where she is in her 19th school year of service. Kae is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree at Virginia Tech.”
“In addition to her service as a School Nurse, Kae serves as an educator for the FEMA Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Schools program. She brings many skills to this role, having twice completed the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services School Security Officer training in 4 years, as well as being an EMS and Fire Programs Instructor and Life Member of both the Virginia Tech Rescue Squad and Read Mountain Fire and Rescue.”
“Recently, Kae assumed the role of the President of the Virginia School Nurses Association. As VSNA President, Kae will maintain her commitment to forwarding VASN’s mission to improving the health and educational success of children and youth in the Commonwealth.”
“It is with great pleasure, that we recognize Kae Bruch for her recent accomplishment as the President of the Virginia School Nurses Association for the 2013-2015 term.”
School Board Chairman Ruth Wallace presented a certificate of recognition to Bruch on behalf of the school board.
Lord Boteourt High School presented fine and performing arts at the second annual Winter Fine Arts Festival on Dec. 12. The night included Cavalier Jazz Band, Cavaier Choir, Concert singers and Symphonic band performances. The LBHS Art Department featured a show of student art works as well in the school library.