From WSLS 10
On Monday, Governor Bob McDonnell announced the Virginia Center for Excellence in Teaching will open in June of 2014 on George Mason University's campus in Fairfax County.
McDonnell proposed the center as part of his 2013 All Students K-12 legislative agenda.
The facility will provide professional development opportunities in instruction, education policy and leadership for 100 exemplary teachers annually.
"By establishing the Virginia Center for Excellence in Teaching, we continue to elevate the teaching profession and send a message that there is no higher calling than inspiring, mentoring and preparing young people for the future," said Governor McDonnell. "The center will set a new standard for excellence in classroom instruction and prepare teachers for leadership within their fields and beyond."
The Virginia Center for Excellence in Teaching will hold four five-day residential summer academies in 2014 with each academy enrolling 25 teachers. Two academies in June will focus on the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), humanities and language arts. Academies in July will focus on the fine arts and interdisciplinary studies.
Each academy will have two George Mason faculty instructors, as well as guest speakers from Mason, local school divisions and the education policy community. Each participating teacher will earn five graduate credit hours, with three credits earned in the summer during the academy and two credits earned through online learning and a conference during the following school year.
Mason is developing an outreach campaign to identify qualified teachers for the center. Participants must hold a five-year renewable Virginia license, be employed by a Virginia school division, have a minimum of five years of successful teaching experience, and have a consistent record of effective instruction and demonstrated leadership ability.
"We are delighted to have this opportunity to build upon Mason's expertise in educator preparation to support teachers from throughout the state," said Mark R. Ginsberg, dean of the College of Education and Human Development. "By developing teachers' capacity for leadership within their classrooms, schools, and communities, this center will empower teachers to work towards our shared goals of promoting effective instruction and excellence in public education."
In approving McDonnell's proposal, the 2013 General Assembly authorized $220,000 to establish the Virginia Center for Excellence in Teaching and directed the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) to solicit competitive proposals from state colleges and universities to create and operate the center. This month, VDOE awarded the contract to Mason.
To learn more about the Virginia Center for Excellence in Teaching, email
to be added to the interest list.