Summer Institute program recognizes teacher mentors

June 21, 2017 | Jennifer McManamay

Sweet Briar College hosted “The Many Faces of Teacher Leaders” Friday, June 16. The program was presented at the annual Teachers as Leaders Summer Institute of the Tri-College Consortium, a coalition comprised of education faculty representatives from Lynchburg, Randolph and Sweet Briar colleges.

Lynchburg’s Gail Brown and Mary Ann Mayhew and Randolph’s Peggy Schimmoeller and Consuella Woods joined James Alouf and Mary Tackett of Sweet Briar to present the event.

Mary Tackett photo

Mary Tackett

The institute celebrated the completion of a project funded by a grant from the Virginia Department of Education, “Mentoring and Supporting Teachers: A Tri-College/School Division Collaboration 2016/2017.”

Since September, the consortium has provided mentor training to a cohort of practicing teachers from Nelson, Amherst, Campbell, Bedford and Appomattox counties. The training is based on the Santa Cruz mentor teacher model. Members of the cohort become mentors to both novice and student teachers in the surrounding areas.

“It was an exciting celebration,” said Tackett, an assistant professor of education at Sweet Briar. “[It’s an opportunity] to give our cohort some well-deserved recognition,” she said, citing the nearly yearlong effort of the teacher mentors.

“The project is also an excellent example of Sweet Briar’s ongoing community outreach initiatives and partnerships.”

More than 50 teachers, principals and administrators attended the institute to recognize the teachers’ work and to hear featured speakers. Presenters included Brett Jones, professor of educational psychology at Virginia Tech, who spoke about his MUSIC Model of Motivation.

Founder and director of the Virginia Children’s Book Festival, Juanita Giles, and her colleagues Jennifer Bennett Nelson and Larissa Fergeson presented on the festival. Kim Bausum-Brown, the dyslexia and specialized reading specialist for the Virginia Department of Education, talked about upcoming legislation for teacher licensure concerning dyslexia.

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