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to do whatever I want to do and has been a major factor in my level of confidence, knowledge, and skill.” As Teacher of the Year, Meg is excited to

travel throughout the state to advocate for schools and teachers. “I’m looking forward to letting people know what an absolute gem we have in this school system. I love these kids; they are hard-working, wonder- ful kids.”

Dynamic duo Meg Smith Teacher of the Year

Meg Smith, 2012 Virginia Teacher of the Year, believes that “teaching is a craft where you have to sharpen your skills continuously.” With two master’s degrees from Lynchburg College — an M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction in 1999 and another in educational leadership in 2007 — Meg sees herself as

“a student still working to perfect the art of teaching.” An eighth-grade English literature teacher

at Dunbar Middle School, Meg directs the Writing Blitz, an initiative that encourages students to submit their writing for contests and publication. “There are so many op- portunities for students to showcase their work,” she explained, “and I want them to take advantage of as many as possible.” To date, more than eighty students have had their work published. “I’m very proud of our student writers.” Meg has taught at Dunbar Middle for eighteen years — her entire teaching career.

“I love it,” she said. “Middle-school students still have some innocence left over from elementary school, but they also are devel- oping an interesting perspective on life. It’s a fun age.” When Meg graduated from The College

of William and Mary with a degree in history and art, she didn’t know what she wanted to do. Since she was not certified to teach, her husband, Steve, then a resident direc- tor in lc’s McWane Hall, suggested that she take classes at the College. “I took a variety of subjects, and I learned a ton,” she said. “I had great professors, and I really liked the class size.”

22 LC MAGAZINE Spring 2012 After she earned her teacher certification,

she completed her middle school endorse- ment and then pursued a graduate degree. “lc did a great job preparing me how to

impart knowledge to students so they could understand, internalize, and apply it. My studies at lc have made me stronger. I learned how to teach at lc. It’s one thing to know about a subject, but it’s quite another to know how to go about teaching it. My perspective has broadened, and I can see a bigger picture. If I ever decide to move beyond the classroom, lc has prepared me

Haywood Hand ’04 and Chris Young ’07 serve together at Amherst County High School as principal and assistant principal. They obviously love what they do and are passionate about the impact teachers can have on students and their success. “Chris and I are compatible in enthusiasm,

passion, and energy,” said Haywood. “We understand the fabric of public education — to serve kids — and we have inexplicable experiences. It is a body of work, and I’d rather be doing this than anything. Nothing is more rewarding.” Haywood enrolled in lc’s M.Ed. program

to earn an administrative endorsement after he was named assistant principal at Parry McClure High School in Buena Vista, Virginia. “I had been given an opportunity for an administrative position, and I knew I needed to get endorsement,” he explained.

Haywood Hand ’04 and Chris Young ’07,

Amherst County High School principal and assistant principal

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