School news for June 27

Wakefield Country Day School’s Life Skills Program has been honing its students for almost a decade, a practice recently adopted at Harvard University; and Virginia state policy boards for elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education have approved 53 new teacher preparation programs and 25 new degrees that will allow graduates to become teachers by earning only four-year degrees in education. […]

WCDS can teach Harvard a few things

Wakefield Country Day School’s Life Skills Program has been honing its students for almost a decade, a practice recently adopted at Harvard University. WCDS arms its students for the world they’ll face; from basic automotive maintenance to etiquette lessons, WCDS students are prepared for the future.

WCDS students receive millions of dollars in merit scholarship offers — a significant advantage, but when evaluating the return on investment between an elite school or a state school, understanding debt versus earnings potential is important.

Nathan Gilbert, President, Meridian Financial Partners, leads the WCDS personal finance sessions.

“I have very much enjoyed speaking with the students of Wakefield Country Day School over the years,” Gilbert says. “Their Life Skills Program is an important aspect of equipping students with the knowledge to succeed in college and beyond. Meridian Financial Partners and I are honored to be a part of the program that focuses on bad debt vs. good debt, managing a budget, and investing for retirement. I am always impressed with the insightful questions from the students, which always results in more in-depth discussions. We look forward to being part of this program for years to come.”

Talking with a former Virginia Commonwealth Attorney is another big annual conversation for WCDS seniors.

“Going into college, I found it extremely helpful to understand how the law would apply to my decision making choices as a young adult,” says Monica Marciano, UVA Class of ’21. “At UVA, I am currently on the executive board of an organization called the University Judiciary Committee, which helps UVA students comprehend their responsibilities to uphold the law and university policies. I believe my desire to participate in such an organization is due in part to Wakefield’s efforts to teach me about my own relationship with the law.”

“I love feeling confident attending a formal function, and thanks to our etiquette lessons — taught by the former first lady’s press secretary — I know which fork to use!” says Tim Johns, UVA ’20. “I didn’t think I’d need to know this, but it made a positive difference at my internship interview.”

With these opportunities, and other myriad speakers the school welcomes to its monthly Expert Series talks, WCDS students are trained for success.

— Suzanne Zylonis

Want to be a teacher?

The Virginia state policy boards for elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education have approved 53 new teacher preparation programs and 25 new degrees that will allow graduates to become teachers by earning only four-year degrees in education.

“Eliminating the barrier of extra years of schooling traditionally required for teacher licensure will encourage more students to pursue teaching careers,” says Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni.

The new degree programs at George Mason University, James Madison University, Old Dominion University, the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia State University, William & Mary, Ferrum College, Liberty University, Marymount University, Randolph College, Roanoke College, Shenandoah University, Sweet Briar College and the University of Lynchburg were created in response to legislation approved by the 2018 General Assembly.

The Board of Education, which sets standards for all teacher preparation programs in the state, approved the new public preparation programs on June 20.

“I believe that increasing the number of four-year routes to the classroom will lead to an increase in the number of men and women choosing teaching as a career and eventually to an easing of the teacher shortage,” says Board of Education President Daniel Gecker.

“Right now, Virginia teachers are in high demand but in short supply,” said Virginia Higher Education Director Peter Blake. “This new streamlined approach will improve Virginia’s production of qualified teachers. We are grateful to the institutions for recognizing the need and moving rapidly to address it.”

President’s List

James Madison University is pleased to announce the following students — all from Amissville —made the president’s list for the spring 2019 semester. Students who earn president’s list honors must carry at least 12 graded credit hours and earn a GPA of 3.900 or above.

Amissville resident Alyssa Nicole Coppage, who is majoring in Industrial Design.

Amissville resident Megan Elyse Elliot, who is majoring in Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies.

Amissville resident Kelsey Elaine Parker, who is majoring in Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies.

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