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New school, new teachers

Board of Education makes way for both

By ZOË HAGGARD - zhaggard@t-g.com
Posted 3/22/22

Bedford County’s newest elementary school is planned to be a two-story concept, based on recent unanimous approval by Bedford County Board of Education.

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New school, new teachers

Board of Education makes way for both


Bedford County’s newest elementary school is planned to be a two-story concept, based on recent unanimous approval by Bedford County Board of Education.

The board discussed how it was important for them to decide which story design they wanted before moving on to a more specific design phase.

Board member Glenn Forsee was vocal at last month’s school board meeting about his preference for a one-story school. At Tuesday’s meeting, he brought up concerns over traffic logistics and location of “quiet zones,” but was reaffirmed by the new elementary building committee’s choice of two-story.

Forsee said, “Two-story has advantages; two-story has disadvantages. One-story has advantages; one-story has disadvantages. There’s no perfect scenario. But I obviously yield to the wisdom of those who actually make it work.”

Learning Way Elementary Principal Kathy Reed, who is on the new elementary building committee, said one advantage of two-story is that one administrator can be on first floor and another administrator can be on the second floor. This makes it faster for assistance to arrive at a situation.

Also, excavation of the land with the two-story is more cost-effective. “Environmentally, you save that money,” Director of Schools Tammy Garrett said.

Maintenance director Daniel Kleindienst also said they will have more room with a two-story to build roads around the school, which will help ease traffic flow.

Communications director Carol Garrette said there is no specific and existing elementary school that the school system is looking at.

“While we visited some two-story schools in neighboring counties, our location and budget are so different that it’s hard to make a comparison. Elevation is the next step for us to help determine a draft of the design. We hope to have a rendering from the architect soon, perhaps within a few weeks,” she said.

Teaching as a profession

Cascade High School teacher Wendy Williams made a presentation about her class “Teaching as a Profession.” She reported to the school board the positive feedback she has received from her students.

Two of her students, sophomore Nick Harris and senior Katie Wilder, spoke at the school board meeting to illustrate their class work and their hope of becoming future math teachers.

Nick has been working specifically with one student in math and reading, which has helped him learn how to “think like a teacher.” He said, “I have learned so much in this experience that I have gained confidence in how I phrase my teachings. And I know that if you trust in the student, the student will put their trust in you.”

Katie has completed the program and hopes to continue her education to the university level this fall. “This program has given me a lot of insight on how teachers must go through the struggles and how they must overcome them.”

Williams herself has been teaching for 17 years and has taught as both elementary and high school. She was approached by Cascade High Principal Josh Young about starting the class that could help the County start “growing you’re their own teachers,” Williams said.

“So, he wanted to encourage students more to learn about the field of education and let them know it was a viable option. And I think it’s a been a success at our school so far,” Williams said.

After four years, Williams said they now offer the full pathway: fundamentals of education are taught freshman year, teaching as a profession I sophomore year, then teaching as a profession II junior year, and completed with a work-base-learning internship at one of the elementary schools senior year.

Williams said in the first year they focus on the psychology of learning and developmental milestones, which gives the students a basis. Students also get to visit elementary schools where they read and interact with the young students several times in the year. The next year increases the visits to the elementary schools every week so students can start building relationships with both the younger students and teachers.