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From Urban Planning and Revitalization to Making a Difference in the Classroom

KaShauna Spratley, '11, had a degree in urban planning from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). She thought she knew what kind of career she wanted to pursue, but after taking a semester of courses in the graduate program for urban revitalization; she realized she needed something more.

"I realized that I needed a career where I could give more of myself and give back to the community," Spratley said.

She took classes at VCU to earn a provisional license and started teaching at Hampton High School. While she was teaching, she took classes at Shenandoah University for full licensure in special education-specific learning disabilities. She completed the program in 2007. Last month, she received her master of education degree in curriculum and instruction through the Adult Professional Program.

Spratley believes she has one of the most important jobs in the world, "providing all of my students with the education to which they are entitled. My daily mission is to touch the lives of as many students as I am able and to encourage and enable them to pursue higher education after high school."

All of her hard work and efforts were recognized this year when she was named Teacher of the Year at Hampton High School. In addition to teaching, Spratley has served as the debate team sponsor; yearbook teacher and advisor; and sponsor for the Positive Image Club, a mentorship club for young ladies that promotes academics, leadership and sisterhood. She also helped establish an award-winning step team and a volleyball club for students who enjoy the sport.

"I believe that education directly impacts each of my students' future prosperity, as well as our nation's prosperity, and I approach each student and each day with that in mind."

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