Lynchburg names Burrows Teacher of the Year

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LYNCHBURG (WSLS 10) - Lynchburg City Schools named Kenneth Burrows Jr. this year's Teacher of the Year. He is an English language learner teacher at Heritage Elementary School.

This is his fifth year serving this role at HES and since joining the HES team, Mr. Burrows has shifted the ELL model from pull-out to a complete push-in model utilizing team teaching, small group instruction and one-on-one instruction in order to adapt content for ELL students and to allow authentic interaction with their native English speaking classmates.

Through his leadership, the SOL pass rate for ELL students at Heritage Elementary has increased from 30 percent to 80 percent during the last four years.

Burrows is a member of the PBIS team and has created and implemented multiple programs. One example is PRIDE promotions, which is a program that provides students who struggle with behavior, academics, or attendance an opportunity to create and choreograph performances to present to the student body and at the district-wide Culture Night. Another example is R4 (Rap, Rhymes, Reading, and Writing) which is an after-school program that teaches literacy language and skills through songwriting.

Burrows also helped create the district-wide Cultural Game Night in which parents, alongside their children, shared cultural games with families from the community.

In her letter of recommendation, HES principal Sharon Anderson stated, "We often say that Mr. Burrows is not just an ELL teacher, but he is an ‘A-L-L' teacher because he is an All Language Learner teacher to all students."

During his interview last week, Burrows stressed the importance of teachers studying their students more and building relationships with students and their parents.

In his philosophy of teaching he stated, "Great teaching demands putting your heart on the classroom floor daily, showing students your own passions and personality, but also showing that you are personally passionate about them."

The goal of the Virginia Teacher of the Year Program is to provide school divisions across the state the opportunity to recognize and celebrate dedicated and outstanding teachers.