Briar Woods Teacher Cadets Showcase Skills for National Official


Teacher Cadets from Briar Woods High School showcased their instructional skills for a leader from the United States Department of Education.

Scott Stump, assistant secretary for career, technical and adult education, has been touring the country during Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month in February. Stump paid a visit to Mill Run Elementary on Tuesday, February 25, to observe lessons supported by teacher cadets from Briar Woods High School.


The Teacher Cadet program is offered by CTE departments across Loudoun County high schools. Teacher Cadet is a dual-enrollment course that offers college credit from Shenandoah University. Its purpose is to create a pipeline of future educators by exposing students to the profession at a young age through coursework and classroom observation and engagement.


In one fourth-grade classroom, Stump joined a teacher cadet-led review of Virginia history using a Kahoot quiz. Mill Run Principal John Cornely played along on his smart phone to answer questions about George Mason, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and other famous Virginians. In another fourth-grade classroom, a teacher cadet helped students review the phases of the moon using an illuminated model. Students used a remote control to light up regions of the moon to demonstrate their understanding of each phase.


Stump met with the five teacher cadets in the school’s technology lab for a closing conversation. Stump praised the students’ decision to take the Teacher Cadet course and pursue a career in education. “We don’t have the capacity to meet the needs of the students who are out there,” Stump said, referring to the national teacher shortage. 


He asked the students what was surprising about their experience in the Mill Run classrooms. The students talked about how welcoming the classrooms were and that the atmosphere helped them overcome being “terrified” about being in front of students. One student discussed how the experience had already changed her perception about which grade level she might be interested in teaching in the future. Another student shared that the students in her class wanted to know about her personally and that she wanted to know about them in return. All the students felt the opportunity to be in classrooms while still in high school was critical. Stump, himself a former teacher, noted that he did not observe in a classroom until the second semester of his sophomore year in college.


Stump was accompanied on his visit by Michael Bolling, Virginia Department of Education assistant superintendent in the Department of Learning and Innovation, and Robert Wertz, Loudoun County Commissioner of the Revenue. Loudoun County Public Schools Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Ashley Ellis, Director of Instructional Programs Tina Howle and CTE Supervisor Lhe Smith also took part in the tour. Diane Breinig is the Teacher Cadet instructor at Briar Woods High School.