Lynchburg Teacher Selected as Member of Governor's Teacher Cabinet

Lynchburg, VA - Governor Bob McDonnell announced the members of his new "Teacher Cabinet" Tuesday, and one of Lynchburg's own is on the list.

Thomas Foster, a science teacher at Dunbar Middle School, was one of the 22 teachers selected for the cabinet.

Foster has been teaching science for eight years, and in May, he was nominated as one of Virginia Lottery's "Super Teachers."

Soon, Foster will head to Richmond to work with the governor and other top-ranked teachers from across the state.

Foster says McDonnell hopes those teachers will voice their concerns and come up with ways to improve the state of education in the Commonwealth.

Foster says his number one goal is to be able to close the achievement gap in schools, and that's something teachers at Dunbar have been working on. Foster says he hopes to find viable options and practices that serve to close that gap and ultimately prevent students from loosing interest and/or dropping out.

Foster also says this is a great opportunity for him to show others what innovative teaching methods have worked for him, he can learn from other teachers as well.

"I've seen some kids that have really transformed over the years I've been teaching. And if I can get some information from other teachers and bring that information back, that'd be great," he said.

The cabinet will have their first meeting on September 25.

Here are some of the goals the McDonnell has released:

1.Identify additional resources, learning tools and professional development opportunities that the Department of Education could make available to local school divisions;

2.Recommend strategies for greater parent and community engagement;

3.Recommend strategies to improve the K-12 education, higher education and workforce collaboration;

4.Identify any needed improvements to administrative responsibilities; and

5.Recommend strategies to close the achievement gap and assist disadvantaged students.

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