Lynchburg City Schools is pleased to announce this year’s Teacher of the Year, Ms. Heather McCormick. Heather is an English teacher at E. C. Glass High School, where she has spent her entire career as an educator, including her student teaching. Beyond the role of classroom teacher, Heather has also served as the newspaper sponsor, literary magazine advisor, activities director, English Department chair, mentor teacher, club sponsor, Freshman Class sponsor, Senior Class sponsor and as a member of the school’s PBIS team.
In addition to these roles, Heather serves as the school’s Coordinator for Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC) programs. As the VCIC Coordinator, she coordinates the school’s participation in Project Inclusion, a four day retreat that provides students of various backgrounds the opportunity to come together to discuss topics around diversity and inclusiveness and how bias affects students within their own school. Ms. McCormick is also working on finishing the arduous process of obtaining her National Board Certification.
In her letter of recommendation, E. C. Glass principal Dr. Tracy Richardson stated, “Ms. McCormick strives to foster in students a sense of ownership about their education. At the end of each quarter, students are provided with tools to help them reflect on their progress. They are tasked with identifying challenges and successes they experiences as well as plans to set goals and improve their grade moving forward.
This is just one way Ms. McCormick is successful in creating a learning environment that encourages students to take risks with the confidence that she will be there to support them. Whether she is planning engaging lessons, collaborating with colleagues to increase student achievement, or sponsoring the next class activity, nothing surpasses Ms. McCormick’s compassion for her students. Her commitment to student learning and growth is what makes her a role model for other teachers.”
During her interview, Ms. McCormick stressed the importance of recognizing that we all have our individual stories that shape who we are. She also emphasized the importance of teachers having high expectations for students, providing choice and multiple ways for students to demonstrate what they have learned, and knowing about students’ lives both inside and outside of the classroom.
In her philosophy of teaching she stated “I believe it’s my job to teach my students the standards but also push them to be their best on the court, the field, the stage, in the pool, at home, at work, as well as in the classroom. Because of this, sometimes they aren’t always my biggest fans. That doesn’t matter because I am theirs.”