Loudoun County, VA (June 12, 2015) – The Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) Teacher Cadet Program Class of 2015 was honored on Friday, May 22nd, in the School Board Meeting Room of the LCPS Administrative Offices.
The Teacher Cadet Program, first proposed by LCPS Director of Career and Technical Education Shirley L. Bazdar, is in its 13th year of operation after its beginnings at Park View and Potomac Falls high schools with 34 students in 2002. In 2015, the Teacher Cadet Program trained 150 future teachers in 13 LCPS high schools.
LCPS Superintendent Dr. Eric Williams welcomed the teacher cadets, their families and friends. “To those of you who are being honored here today…I want to commend you for your participation in this program. Loudoun literally rolls out the red carpet for new teachers. Last August at the New Employee Orientation, as a new superintendent, I asked the teachers present, who had graduated from Loudoun County Public Schools? I was pleased to see that more than a dozen were LCPS graduates.”
That pipeline also continues to the administrative level, he added, “I know that we have at least one principal who is a Loudoun County Public Schools graduate.
“I hope you will stay connected with any teachers who inspired you during your K-12 experience and I hope that you will consider a rewarding career as an educator.”
Sherryl D. Loya, principal of Farmwell Station Middle School and the 2015 Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leader, presented the keynote address for the teacher cadets.
“The most important trait that you can have as a teacher is kindness. To be respectful and kind, even to a hard-core gang member, means everything. As soon as you move them over to your side and make sure that they understand that you care about them…that you are in their corner, they will do whatever you ask them to do. That’s true for all situations in life.”
Loya said kindness and generosity also have been identified as essentials for building a successful marriage. “If you are kind and respectful in the classroom…you will be successful there as well. Building relationships with kids is what really matters. Academic excellence will follow the relationship. Once kids know that you love them and care…that you are kind to them…that you are respectful to them…they will work harder and they will do more for you.
“You are about to embark upon a great journey in your life…you have the opportunity to really make impressions on people…change who they are…and help to make them understand that, no matter what they choose, these are the characteristics and traits that you are going to emulate for them.
“As you move forward, realize that you will make a difference in kids’ lives every day. You have the power to either crush dreams and make children feel like nothing or you can lift them up and help to make them a better person.
I compliment you on knowing what you want to do in life. After you earn your degree…remember what a powerful opportunity you will have. Come back and see me, I might hire you.”
Dennis Keffer, director of outreach for Shenandoah University, suggested three things that the Teacher Cadet Program may teach LCPS students:
- What grade level you might want to teach.
- The realization that you don’t want to teach.
- The realization that you don’t ever want to have kids.
“Whatever you choose as a career, you have to believe in your choices…and if you do that you will find success.”
In closing, Bazdar honored Pamela G. Smith, the Park View High School teacher cadet sponsor. Smith is retiring after providing 38 years of service to Loudoun county Public Schools. Smith was one of the inaugural sponsors of the Teacher Cadet Program.
The Class of 2015 Teacher Cadets include:
Briar Woods High School
Lina El Hamdani
Broad Run High School
William Yancey, III
Dominion High School
Freedom High School
Heritage High School
Loudoun County High School
Loudoun Valley High School
Park View High School
Potomac Falls High School
Stone Bridge High School
Tuscarora High School
Woodgrove High School
Madison Darr Bramhall