The "Gifts of Grace" include our strong teaching faculty who are committed to excellence. Each year, our faculty sets individual goals which includes an expectation of over 16 hours of personal professional development as well as participation in faculty team meetings and full meetings each month. This expectation allows for our teachers to grow as professionals in areas that are consistent with the mission of the school as well as investigate areas in which teachers feel a keen interest.
This year, our teachers have attended workshops and conferences on a variety of educational topics:
Book Chats: What Great Teachers Do Differently and Power of Words
Diversity Chats: "Privilege in America"
Conferences: AISGW, VAIS, MAESA, Children Together: Teaching Boys, Seven Essential Life Skills,
Google Summit for Educators
In-house: Google Classrooms, Chromebooks in the Classroom, Raising Empathetic Children, Dealing with Temper Tantrums and Emotions, Math Applications
Collegial Quest: Classroom observations by colleagues, Visits to neighboring schools
Last spring, we were thrilled when GESPA announced that it was making a one-time gift of $2,000 in honor of Chris Byrnes. This money was to be used to provide an "extraordinary professional development experience" for one of the Grace Episcopal School faculty members. The recipient of this grant is Amanda Hungerford, our fifth grade teacher. As our students and parents can attest, Amanda is a dedicated teacher who nurtures her students while demanding rigor and excellence. She motivates her students to reach full potential; clearly, her goals are met in the placement success of our 5th graders in top area middle schools. This grant, combined with additional funds from our professional development budget, will allow Amanda to attend the NAIS week-long conference on Emerging Leaders in Education.
Mrs. Hungerford expressed her deep appreciation to GESPA and to GES for this opportunity and said, "I am so grateful to receive the Summer Extraordinary Grant given in honor of Chris Byrnes. Chris modeled the love of learning for all members of the Grace community during her time with us, and played an integral part in my development as a teacher and leader here at Grace. I am excited to continue to "Grow with Grace" this summer at the NAIS Leadership Institute. I look forward to starting the 2016-2017 school year with a new perspective of the role of independent schools and with new knowledge that will help me to enhance my instructional decisions in the classroom along with my decisions in other school leadership roles at Grace."
I hope you can feel my pride in the Grace team of educators as I believe it is a strong and committed faculty. Investing in our teachers' professional growth is vital if we are to attract and retain the best educators possible for our students. Thank you for your investment and for your support.
Patti Culbreth, Head of School