In February 2022, Mount Airy City Schools (MACS) was awarded a grant for approximately $900,000 to help diminish the negative academic impacts of COVID. Since the announcement, district leaders have been building the foundation of the MACS Professional, Innovative, Versatile, Open-minded, Talented yet Teachable (PIVOT) project. Advanced Teaching Roles (ATR) have been integrated into this work. Each school within the district was allotted a certain number of ATRs based on enrollment. Interested individuals were interviewed and a select were awarded these positions. They will continue to serve in their regular roles while innovatively leading within the district’s new PIVOT team. Through creative scheduling and administrator support, these individuals will devote a portion of their time to co-teaching, modeling high-quality instructional practices, coaching, serving small groups of students, and working alongside others to increase their reach and build the efficacy of others.
This three-year grant funding will begin in August 2022 and the Board of Education is proud to announce the many opportunities for educators in the district to expand their reach. The following teachers and staff members will become leaders in their content areas and grade levels.
BH Tharrington Primary School
- Beth Martin - Multi-Classroom Leader: 1st Grade
- Brooke Ledford - Master Teacher Leader of Literacy
- Nicole Hooker - Master Teacher Leader of MTSS and Intervention
- Eve Trotter - Master Teacher Leader
JJ Jones Intermediate School
- Ginnie Deaton - Master Teacher Leader of MTSS and Differentiation
- Ben Pendleton - Master Teacher Leader of Exceptional Children
- Dalton Tedder - Master Teacher Leader
Mount Airy Middle School
- Katie McCrary - Master Teacher Leader of Math: 3rd-5th Grades
- Tarona Hollingsworth- Master Teacher Leader of Literacy: 3rd-8th Grades
- Marie Hauser - Master Teacher Leader of Math: 6th-8th Grades
Mount Airy High School
- Courtney Howlett - Master Teacher Leader of Math: 9th-12th Grades
- Garrett Howlett- Master Teacher Leader of Career and Technical Education: 9th-12th Grades
Community Central Office
- Nora Santillan- Master Teacher Leader of Dual Language Immersion
Penny Willard, Director of Innovative Programming, stated, “This is a unique and innovative opportunity for MACS, which is multi-faceted because educators will be empowered with leadership opportunities without having to leave their classrooms. Our highly-skilled and newly formed PIVOT team will continue serving in their current capacities but have increased responsibilities to serve both students and other teachers. This will allow them to support their colleagues in a non-traditional, yet highly valuable manner that is projected to yield high results for student achievement. Building capacity within our own district allows us to foster meaningful relationships that revolve around professional growth that is centered around meeting both students and teachers at their individual point of need.”
Superintendent Dr. Kim Morrison added, “These teachers and administrators have demonstrated a desire to lead within our school buildings. Advanced teaching roles keep these strong leaders closely connected to students by collaboratively problem-solving solutions to ensure every child grows every day. This new paradigm leads a way for the future of education spreading expertise across classrooms and impacting all students.”
During COVID, educators and staff members have gained and strengthened their skills in a multitude of areas. This grant will allow the district to capitalize on these skills with more attention to technology, remote learning, and intentional and consistent collaboration practices around highly effective teaching and learning. The current teaching staff of MACS will increase their leadership and collaboration skills while taking on new roles to maximize learning potential and growth in both students and staff.
The implementation of the MACS PIVOT project will follow the Opportunity Culture Principles to allow the district to prioritize overall improvement in the following areas:
(a) superior teaching and learning for all learners
(b) recruitment and retainment of quality educators
(c) teacher efficacy (with a priority around teachers viewing themselves as leaders)
(d) professional learning communities (PLCs) with a focus on high-quality instructional planning times
(e) family and community engagement in the learning process.