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September 21, 2020

Greenville teacher receives Innovator of Year Award

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Greenville Elementary School third-grade teacher Brittany Hundley received Superintendent’s Innovator of the Year for 2020.
Brittany Hundley, a third-grade teacher at Greenville Elementary, has been selected as the Superintendent’s Innovator of the Year for 2020 in Fauquier County Public Schools.

The award recognizes the efforts of a teacher who incorporates innovation into instruction.

Seven other teachers qualified as finalists: Catherine Croft, Michele Dass, Bill Davidson, Brad McCabe, Chris Pierce, Emily Scott, and Michelle Smith. The top innovator earns $500, and each finalist receives a $200 award for his or her classroom.

Brittany Hundley, Superintendent’s Innovator of the Year
“Her planning, implementation, and reflection processes help her to continue moving forward, always striving to be better tomorrow than she was today--because 'her kids' deserve it. She has developed an innovator’s mindset and a culture of innovation in her classroom, modeling for kids about risk-taking, always trying and giving your best, and failing forward,” Greenville Principal Tim Gardner wrote.

Superintendent David Jeck described Ms. Hundley as deserving of the award because, “It takes both imagination and courage to bring innovation to the classroom. Brittany clearly has both. She represents the motivation behind the creation of this award, and her determination to offer unique learning experiences daily is obvious.”

Surprised Ms. Hundley’s first thoughts were: “This is certainly a mistake.”

She added, “It takes the support and collaboration from everyone to really make this type of thing happen, and I could never take credit for any of the above. The kiddos are the true innovators. I feel lucky to be surrounded by so many creative educators, with an administration that wants to always look for a way to say yes. There are countless teachers doing amazing and innovative things around our county, and I am constantly inspired by them.”

In her sixth year of teaching, Ms. Hundley worked four years at H.M. Pearson Elementary as a special education teacher. She came to Greenville last year to teach second grade. This year she oved to third grade.

Ms. Hundley consistently weaves innovation into her instruction. Her favorite lesson last year was when her students created magnet projects.

“My favorite experience last year was when my second graders broke off into teams in order to research, design, and showcase their own student-created magnet projects. We were studying magnetic forces and motion in science and intertwined as much of it as we could in our language arts time. For about two to three weeks, the kids spent time researching and reading how to build various creations, such as a magnetic car, a floating pen, magnetic slime, magnetic mazes, and even a magnetic soccer game board. I suppose it was innovative to let twenty something seven and eight-year-olds take over the entire classroom with all the materials to make these creations,” she explained.

“Things got pretty messy and at times chaotic with everyone working on their own projects at various stages. There were lots of failed attempts. My co-teachers and I served as a guide on the side, supporting them when they needed direction or new materials… or when they needed the hammer or hot glue gun. Mrs. Hopkins and Mrs. Lowery were extremely helpful keeping everything running smoothly. The magic really happened as the kiddos learned to problem solve together.”

Being an innovative teacher takes celebrating failure as a first attempt in learning, Ms. Hundley admitted.

“Some of the groups had projects that never fully worked, and we brought them to the showcase anyway. We talk a lot in class about how there is often times more learning that occurs in failure than in success, and some groups modeled just that.”

The finalists:


• Catherine Croft, Fauquier High School

Dr. Croft has been coined as the “former neurobiologist brings science to life at FHS” by Fauquier Now in an article highlighting her innovation in the classroom teaching science. Dr. Croft was selected to participate in the 1:1 pilot at FHS with her students this year.
She used blended learning activities daily, various online resources and platforms with her students. In collaboration with her National Institute of Health affiliation, she procured resources for the school STEM program to foster her passion to bring hands-on science to all students.

She also serves as the Academic Team sponsor for the “Fighting Nerds” who won the district tournament, advancing to regionals. Due to COVID-19, face-to-face competitions have been delayed. However, Dr. Croft collaborated with other Academic Bowl sponsors throughout the region to continue their competitions virtually.


• Michele Dass, Pearson Elementary School

Ms. Dass incorporated project based learning (PBL) into her lessons for her fourth and fifth-grade GT students. Her students explored and inquired about topics they were learning. When COVID-19 hit, Ms. Dass was strategic and creative about how she was reaching students and went above and beyond to engage her students.


• Bill Davidson, Kettle Run High School

Mr. Davidson has continuously strived to create authentic learning in his classroom each year. Most recently, he worked to implement standards-based grading for his students to illustrate their comprehension and learning of the curriculum. Students were self-paced and able to work through modules and activities to support their learning. His innovative teaching worked to meet students where they were in the learning process and helped them grow to master their skills.


• Brad McCabe, Cedar Lee Middle School

Mr. McCabe is constantly trying new technology in the classroom. He uses gamification techniques in his lessons. He has also taken his students on virtual tours using Google Earth so they can experience other lands in the world.

Last year he was working to establish a "world classrooms" connection with a class in Japan and Colombia, so that his students could regularly converse with young people in those countries. He always looks for new ways to incorporate student devices into his daily lessons. As yearbook sponsor, he has added some interesting features to Cedar Lee yearbooks to jazz things up and improve student excitement about their school.


• Chris Pierce, Liberty High School

Mr. Pierce has stepped up as an innovative leader at LHS and for the division. He has been at the forefront of the standards-based grading movement with a focus on student portfolios, student reflections and student choice. He has led the movement at LHS, and he has presented to the entire system administration. This presentation inspired many administrators around the county to ask him to present to their school teams.

Mr. Pierce has also taken a leadership role in our P-based learning development at LHS. We have established a position with our innovation grant that allows for a leader for P-based instruction, and Chris applied for and was chosen for that position. He will now lead a team of LHS teachers to focus on project, problem, passion, performance, purpose, phenomenon, personalized, production, publication, and participatory learning. He is a risk-taker and innovator. He is not afraid to try something new and fail. He encourages his students and colleagues in the same way.


• Emily Scott, Bradley Elementary School

Ms. Scott is passionate about Virginia history, and her enthusiasm for this content is infectious. She finds innovative ways to teach her content and turns dusty, old history into a subject children want to learn. She provides opportunities for authentic learning, and her lessons carry depth and enrichment.

During any regular day in her classroom, you will see virtual Skype field trips, visiting many historical places, such as Monticello. You will hear podcasts created by her students, or you will venture on a treasure hunt for the facts about Jamestown. She is student-centered and innovative in planning and delivering cross-curricular lessons, such as teaching how to solve math problems using the Road to Revolution, all while being watched over by a life-size cut out of George Washington.

Mrs. Scott thinks outside the box; she has created her own YouTube channel to reach her students during distance learning and beyond.


• Michelle Smith, Pierce Elementary School

Ms. Smith has taught more than 30 years at Pierce. This year, she took a leap of faith to integrate innovative multi-sensory strategies into her literacy block. She kept true to word study and the Benchmark literacy program while integrating innovative strategies such as using sand, blending boards, movement and many other strategies to ensure that her students were all able to access the learning.

The gains that her students made were huge.
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Baldurr · September 22, 2020 at 6:56 pm
Airbus has closed most of the collaboration with external suppliers and they are making huge cutoffs, 15000 workers will be left with a job, it's only something for the media in reality I just hope they will have all the need manpower to make it. And what software they will use? Hope they will find some good developing company like LITSLINK
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