Social studies lead teacher and third-grade-level chair Laura Marshall has inspired academic excellence among gifted and special needs students alike at Grange Hall Elementary School in Moseley, Virginia. Through a variety of research-based strategies including project-based learning, differentiation, small-group instruction and technology integration, Marshall motivates her students to become independent learners. Her creative activities include a "Living History" project in which parents visit the classroom to see students dressed as historical figures or important historical dates. Students stand immobile throughout the classroom until touched by a parent, at which point they "come alive" and deliver a three-minute speech about the person or date they represent. As the school's technology lead teacher, Marshall has made technology a natural part of the third-grade curriculum and was instrumental in advancing the schoolwide use of interactive notebooks. Her students typically excel on the state's Standards of Learning (SOL) tests, with 100 percent of her students scoring advanced in social studies, and more than a quarter of her students achieving a perfect score on the SOL. Marshall is a member of the school's Strategic Management Team and Curriculum Academy. She has presented workshops at the school and county levels on topics ranging from interactive notebooks and brain-based research to multiple intelligences and Marzano strategies. A mentor to new and student teachers, she is asked each year to give workshops to new third-grade teachers.
2001 Virginia Tech University, B.S.