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Virginia Education Secretary visits
Botetourt County QTL™ Center

September 2004

The Botetourt County school system played host to Virginia Secretary of Education Belle Whelan as she got a first-hand look at the state's first QTL™ Center. Botetourt County opened its own Quality Teaching & Learning Center earlier this year through partnership with ExplorNet's Centers for Quality Teaching & Learning.

Botetourt County teachers attend QTL in own center
Botetourt County teachers attend QTL™ in their own local Center for Quality Teaching & Learning.

Wheelan visited the Center on Sept. 29th, observing a day of instruction led by ExplorNet's Susan Herring and then talking with Botetourt County and ExplorNet staff about how the program has impacted teachers.

Diane Ross, ExplorNet's Partnership Development Director for Virginia, invited Wheelan to visit. "We wanted her to see what great things are happening there at the Center," Ross says.

Wheelan had lunch with several teachers who have already been through the program, and talked with them about the practices they have taken back to the classroom as a result of the training, and Ross says the response was very positive.

"They all had nothing but great things to say," Ross says. "They talked about improved student interest.  Kids are more interested in learning and look forward to lessons and work. 

One teacher told Wheelan the approaches taught during QTL™ are ideal for reaching every student. Gifted students who used to need 'extra lessons' are now able to take their learning to new levels without the need for separate lesson plans. Students who have lagged behind in performance are now able to learn and be involved in learning through the use of technology and the strategies.

"But the biggest thing teachers have found," Ross says, "is that the middle of the road kids, the largest group and most overlooked, are also more interested in learning now.  QTL's approaches are terrific for reaching all levels of learners."

Botetourt Superintendent Jack Thomas told Wheelan the district has been able to focus more on the craft of teaching and on student achievement as a result of this program..


For more information, contact Robin Fred via e-mail at or call him at 888.507.3800.

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