January 29, 2023

Local teachers join WestTeach program

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Melissa Berry, of Big Sandy, and Holly Meyer, of Paris, both were selected for UTM’s 2022 WestTeach program. Program applicants must be recommended by their principal and director of schools, and only one teacher per school district is chosen to participate each year.
Now in her 17th year of teaching, Meyer is a third-grade teacher at Briarwood School in Camden. She has been involved in summer learning camps in West Tennessee for the past several years. Meyer contributes to her school by designing the school’s website, applying for and receiving grants, and presenting at professional development trainings. For the past two years, she has tutored for the Tennessee Accelerated Literacy and Learning Corps tutoring program to mitigate learning loss and accelerate student achievement. She received the 2018 Paris Post Intelligencer Reader’s Choice Award for “Favorite City Teacher.”
After serving on the faculty at Big Sandy School for many years, Berry is now the transition case manager at Henry County High School. She is the sponsor of the student group Students Against Destructive Decisions. Berry will use her WestTeach program experiences to interact with leaders in her community and better understand the needs of employers, and in turn she will share that information with her students in the classroom. The knowledge she gains from WestTeach will assist the students at Henry County High School’s rigorous work-based learning program.
WestTeach is the premier leadership-development program for teachers in the 21 counties of West Tennessee, with a mission to engage and equip teachers with tools and leadership skills for success in and outside the classroom. Program topics expose teachers to relevant and influential issues that can shape and reshape the classroom engagement for their students. Participants are challenged and equipped to translate their WestTeach experiences into transformational opportunities for their students. For more information, visit www.utm.edu/weststar/westteachprogram or contact WestStar Assistant Director Virginia Grimes at [email protected] or 731-881-7298.

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