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.
Highly educated—73% have one or more advanced degrees—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.
In addition, VES has a unique and exciting partnership with the University of Virginia's Darden School of Education and Human Development. Read below to see the value and impact of this collaboration.
Committed to excellence in teaching and learning, VES formed a unique partnership with the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education.
In November 2016, VES began a partnership* with the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia to drive excellence in teaching and learning among our VES faculty. With access to the highly esteemed professors at the Curry School, this partnership opens up an exchange of ideas and learning opportunities that will enhance VES’ academic culture today and for the long-term.
- Curry School professors attend VES classes to assess teaching methods, provide feedback and collaborate with our faculty to support their individual skills and growth.
- VES faculty gain knowledge, practical tools and resources—beyond what other schools can offer—to support our students as we introduce more project-based, inquiry-based and experiential learning.
- Faculty are working closely together across disciplines to align their curricula to the Portrait of a VES Graduate, develop common rubrics, and use backward design to ensure students achieve learning goals.
- With an enhanced focus on differentiated instruction, VES students in our Learning Resources program are gaining even stronger support in the classroom and during their time with Learning Resources faculty in the school day and with added evening study hall support.
- VES is creating a level of distinction among boarding schools in the practice of teaching and learning. In August 2018, VES launched a Summer Collaborative for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, designed for K-12 teachers across the region to learn about top trending topics in education from top-name Curry School faculty.
*This partnership is made possible through The Du Bose Family Fund for Excellence in Teaching & Learning.
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. Highlights from the past two school years 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.
- Jessamine School of Classical Dance and workshop at Dogtowntown Dance Theater
- 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. Jason is The Jean and Bill Cook Master of English, and 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.