When a Washington Post reporter seeks a regular dialogue with you and writes frequent articles about your instructional practices, you must be doing something right. That's the case with world history teacher Mark Ingerson, whose success as an educator at Salem High School in Salem has generated plenty of attention in his community and beyond. Teaching students who previously struggled in school, Ingerson provides an exciting, dynamic classroom experience that helps them learn basic facts while engaging them in higher-order thinking as well. For a unit on totalitarian dictators, he and a fellow teacher created a video in which they dressed up as Stalin, Hitler, Tojo and Mussolini, answering interview questions from students. The result has been a surge in scores on the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) test, with many students not only passing, but passing at an advanced level. Ingerson has even helped students with disabilities achieve stellar results on the SOL, far exceeding state and local averages. As a forensics coach, he helped boost Salem High School's performance at speech competitions, leading them to win back-to-back state forensics championships in 2006 and 2007. Ingerson's achievements also include appointment to Virginia's Advisory Board on Teacher Education and Licensure at the age of 28, one of the youngest appointees in state history. He was named a 2007 Most Outstanding Recent Alumnus by Virginia Tech University and achieved National Board Certification in 2004. Formerly an Airman First Class in the U.S. Air Force and Staff Sergeant in the Massachusetts Air National Guard, Ingerson is helping many Salem High students soar to new academic heights.