Tennessee teachers will be looking to some of Loudon High
School’s own for direction as the state transitions to the new Common Core standards.
English teacher Cassie Watson and math teacher Melissa Haun were selected as Common Core coaches for
training sessions this summer. Both teachers said they were excited for the opportunity and believe
the training will benefit not only their classrooms and peers, but the school as well.
sure that we will both present what we present this summer to our faculty and to our department,"
Haun said. "The principals haven't received information on how many they get to send to those
training sessions. Of course, they can't send the entire faculty, so I think it will be great that
we will be the front runners and know all the ins and outs and be able to bring it back
"I'm pretty excited about bringing it back to Loudon County because not every county is
going to have a teacher represented there," she said.
"By us getting the training ahead of
time, it will be like Loudon High School will be able to send more (teachers). We will get the
firsthand knowledge on the new standards, so it will be fun to be ahead of the curve," Watson
LHS Principal Cheri Parrish agreed, emphasizing that coaching will solidify the new
standards for teachers.
"They're going to be more ingrained as to expectations in the
classroom because if you can teach others it's going to benefit you also," Parrish said.
will serve as a math core coach and Watson will serve as an English/language arts core
The two will participate in extensive training on Common Core instruction, goals and
objectives in their grade level and content area, facilitate training for teachers during the summer
and provide ongoing support in the region as peer leaders, according to a press release from
Haun and Watson were selected from among more than 1,300 applicants.
"As a math
teacher, we were really fortunate - math and English - that we already started putting Common
Core standards in effect in our classrooms, so as a math teacher when they said we are going to
start implementing Common Core standards in our classroom that is exactly how math teachers think,"
Haun said. "We think, 'How can you use this in life and how can you get more in depth with it?' I
was thrilled that we already started and we were getting to learn the cool new things and how much
farther in-depth kids will be going and all the different concepts."
To be considered for the
coaching position, teachers submitted a letter of intent and summary of student growth, completed a
practice instructional task exercise and formal interview and created a Partnership for Assessment
of Readiness for College and Careers model content presentation. Parrish believes the opportunity
reflects on the high school as a whole.
"To go through the application process they had to
turn in an extensive amount of work to begin with. It wasn't just like turning in a resume. They had
to do a PowerPoint, they had to do lesson plans and several different things, so there was a lot of
work on the front end," Parrish said. "They had to be motivated and challenged to do that and then
to be selected, and then two for two in my building - we were thrilled they were selected, but
they are very high quality teachers and individuals."
Parrish said Watson and Haun were the
only teachers at the high school to apply.
"I hope it reflects (Loudon High School) in a
really good way that we have that kind of quality teachers here that were hand selected, so to
speak, out of 1,300 applicants," Parrish said.
"I am proud of Dr. Watson and Ms. Haun for
their hard work and dedication to the students of Loudon High and Loudon County as a whole," Loudon
County Director of Schools Jason Vance said. "I believe it is a great honor to have two teachers
chosen as Common Core coaches for the state of Tennessee. I know their work will prove to be
beneficial to everyone in the Loudon County school system."