The 2016 Educators Rising National Conference held at Boston University June 24-27, provided an opportunity for 13 VBCPS students from four high schools to learn, network, compete and celebrate the teaching profession. The organization, formerly known as the Future Educators Association, offers leadership activities and resources to help students explore education-related careers.
Attendees from Bayside, Landstown, Ocean Lakes and Tallwood high schools were all students in the Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow (VTfT) class at their respective schools. VTfT teachers Jenna Free (Tallwood), Meg Manugo (Bayside) and Tasha Hurst (Ocean Lakes) accompanied students to Boston.
Students became eligible to compete at the national level by earning first- or second-place awards in their respective Educators Rising state competitions. National titles were awarded in more than 20 events designed to allow students to develop and showcase their teaching skills.
VBCPS students earned the following awards at the national conference:
- Recruitment & Marketing Campaign, Second Place: Harry Hudome, Natalie Hackmann, Kylee Schoolcraft and Jasmine Clanton; Ocean Lakes High School
- STEM Lesson Planning & Delivery, Third Place: Amanda Peroe, Ocean Lakes High School
- Researching Learning Challenges, Top 10 Semifinalist: Natalie Hackmann & Kylee Schoolcraft, Ocean Lakes High School
- Educator’s Rising Moment, Top 10 Semifinalist: Jasmine Clanton, Ocean Lakes High School
- Impromptu Speaking, Top 10 Semifinalist: Marly Lezama, Landstown High School
Also representing VBCPS in the national competition were Tallwood students Tyler Jones, Asia Smith and Barbarra Devlin, and Bayside students Emmily Eccles, Shyanne Harvey and Anto’Nia Morris.
According to Free, Jones, who just graduated from Tallwood, will be even more involved with the national organization this year.
“Tyler Jones was selected to serve as a member of the EdRising National Student Cabinet for 2016-17,” she shared. “He will be traveling, speaking, and representing EdRising at various events this upcoming year. It’s a very cool opportunity!”
Manugo also has been involved with Educators Rising on a national level as one of 12 education professionals selected to serve on the organization’s Standards Committee this year. At the national conference she served as a panelist in a session about the recently-published standards that define what high school students exploring teaching need to know and be able to do to take their first steps on the path to accomplished teaching.
“The experience was fantastic for the students and for us,” said Manugo. “We attended numerous sessions on topics ranging from motivation to effective teaching strategies, and we saw several dynamic keynote speakers.”
Manugo noted that two keynote speakers joined them for dinner one night and took them on a tour of the city.
“[Our students] truly represented the entire district, and attendees from across the nation knew that Virginia Beach was an amazing group because of the professionalism, support, confidence, and poise that our students exhibited.”
Hurst was equally proud of VBCPS students.
“It was inspiring to be with a group of young adults who are so passionate and enthusiastic about learning and teaching,” she said. “They will undoubtedly make fantastic educators one day, ones whom I will be proud to call colleagues.”
Amanda Peroe, a member of the Class of 2016, was excited for one final opportunity to represent her school.
“This past weekend in Boston was the absolute best way to wrap up my time representing Ocean Lakes,” she shared. “After interacting with some of the most passionate people, I feel beyond empowered and will hold these memories forever.”
Natalie Hachmann, a rising senior at Ocean Lakes, also left the conference feeling inspired and energized.
“I have loved growing my passion for education in this beautiful city with these beautiful people,” she said, “and I can’t wait for whatever comes next!”
For more information about Educators Rising, visit www.educatorsrising.org.