Working at VES is far more than a job. It's a way of life.
Our faculty chose VES because they love teaching academics and life skills, advising and coaching, nurturing and mentoring young people. They believe in the transformational power of the faculty-student relationship. They seek to inspire and ignite intellectual curiosity. They love learning from their students and collaborating with their faculty colleagues. They believe in the mission of VES—to guide each student Toward Full Stature—and deliver on that promise every single day.
In addition to being a highly educated faculty—80% have one or more advanced degrees and 10% hold a doctoral degree—each year, 80% commit to further their own professional growth, supported by two endowed funds dedicated to continuous learning. Click the Professional Growth tab to see what our faculty are learning.
Professional Growth & Development
Our faculty is committed to their own professional growth. More than 80% participate in programs each year that stretch their thinking, deliver new tools for instruction and enhance our student experience.
Each year, faculty and staff pursue opportunities outside of VES to strengthen their skills and impact at VES. Recent highlights include:
- Dean’s Roundtable and Dean's Round Table for New Deans—discussing best practices, legal issues and hot topics in independent schools to inform our Student Life, Accountability and Residential Life policies and practices.
- Stanley H. King Counseling Institute—learning how to listen deeply to students and respond in ways that promote learning, meaningful relationships and responsible behavior
- Gardner Carney Leadership Institute (GCLI), learning the latest research about brain science, social and emotional intelligence, and group dynamics.
- The Folio Summer Institute
- VAIS New Teacher Summer Institute
- NAIS School Leadership Institute
- NAIS People of Color Conference—enhancing the climate of equity and inclusion in schools
- 5 faculty serve as national AP exam graders and table leaders—demonstrating leadership in key areas of study and providing VES faculty insights into the AP curricula
- AP Curriculum Conferences/Workshops—AP Modern World History Workshop, AP Central Conference, AP Environmental Science Workshop and AP Physics Institute
- Computer Science Teacher Association Conference
- Project Connect—learning best practices in interdisciplinary studies across the humanities
- Physics Modeling Program—learning new methods for classroom instruction that engages students
- Envoys in Colombia—global educators trip to deepen knowledge of Spanish-speaking cultures and current-day issues, participate in service projects, and gain innovative ideas for developing globally minded students
- Middlebury College—pursuing a master’s degree in Spanish with travel and study in Argentina
- Where There Be Dragons—immersive study of language; environmental and sustainability issues; social and political activism, the arts and service projects.
- Continued development of NASA ENIGMA curriculum in collaboration with Virginia 4-H and NASA CheMin
- Computer Science Teacher Association conference, learning virtual reality and Python programming; became one of 20 educators trained in Cybersecurity education by NERIC.
- Bard College’s Summer Institute for Writing and Thinking—to develop an understanding of "writing-based teaching" and its application in the classroom, including how to teach different forms of writing— essay, academic paper, creative nonfiction, poetry.
- VES Collaborative for Excellence in Teaching and Learning—gaining new skills and techniques for student learning through place-based and project-based learning, as well as bringing differentiated teaching into the curriculum.
- Religion Teachers’ Workshop
- Fitzwilliam Experience for Emerging Leaders in College Counseling/College Admission
Summer Institute of School Nursing
Gold Medal Squared Volleyball Coaching Clinic in Nashville, TN—where coaches from around the country met to discuss various coaching philosophies, strategies and practices, as well as explore new techniques for instructing skill development.
Costa Rica Global Studies Workshop for Field-Based Learning
Cyber Security Seminar—featuring experts on Cybersecurity Threats, Litigation, Banking Controls and Insurance Solutions
Blackbaud User Conference
Faculty and staff have traveled to Uganda, Kenya, Austria, Costa Rica, Mexico, France, Argentina, Switzerland, Greece, England, Spain, Ireland, China, the Bahamas, and Croatia
Darden Awards for Faculty Enrichment
Dr. Larissa and Jason Knebel each received money to explore Northern California and the Pacific Northwest with their three boys—a current VES junior, a rising freshman and another in middle school. Larissa and Jason have both taught at VES for 15 years and are beloved faculty members. Larissa, who teaches biology, is the Thomas H. “Tuck” Maddux III ’47 Distinguished Master Teacher.
Director of Fine & Performing Arts Debbie Burton, who has taught for 21 years at VES, also traveled to the Pacific Northwest with her grown children. They enjoyed visiting Portland, Willamette, Sonoma and San Francisco, including the Portland International Rose Garden and Japanese Garden, the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, and the Golden Gate Bridge. As you can imagine, they took full advantage of tasting the amazing regional food and wines.
Chad Hanning—20-year faculty member and the Margaret T. Bourne Chair Of Science—spent time in New York City with his family. They caught The Lion King on Broadway; visited the New York City Library, Grand Central Terminal, Times Square and the Metropolitan Museum of Art; spent an afternoon in Central Park; and enjoyed riding the train.