Don Padfield Recognized as Exceptional Children’s Educator of Excellence for 2016


Don Padfield
EC Educator of Excellence

The North Carolina Virtual Public School is pleased to announce that Don Padfield was our the NCVPS Exceptional Children’s Educator of Excellence nominee for the 2016 Exceptional Children’s Conference. Don was honored at the Educator of Excellence Banquet held at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro. During the conference, educators of exceptional children were celebrated for outstanding contributions made to improving student outcomes.

Don is an Occupational Course of Study (OCS) teacher at Hopewell High School in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district. He teaches in a traditional classroom where he co-teaches with online NCVPS teachers. “I have been fortunate to work with Don for several years,” says Joy Crosby, NCVPS OCS teacher. “I am constantly in awe of the work that he does to support his students and their learning. Don employs whole group, small group, and one-on-one teaching techniques each day.”

“What I enjoy most about working with NCVPS and the OCS students is the growth that I am able to witness,” Don says. “I have most of my students for all their NCVPS math classes, and to see the growth – intellectually and socially –  from their freshman year to their senior year is what drives me to continue in this field.”

Don praises his NCVPS partner teachers. “I’ve also been lucky enough to have worked with some of the best co-teachers in the business. They are instrumental in preparing the lessons and are always available when needed.”

Don shows great commitment to students and their learning. “He is not afraid to push his students to master difficult course content while also walking the learning journey with them,” Joy says. “We brainstorm weekly to find new ways to approach course content and how to help our students take ownership for their learning. We work to engage all learning styles through approaches that target visual, auditory, and tactile learners to make the course approachable. He is in constant communication. He often will text me between classes for a quick check in on how to approach a topic or activity. He is the ultimate advocate for his students.”

Don serves as the e-learning advisor for his school and is a member of the Superintendent’s Literacy Panel. He works to incorporate the strategies from the literacy program into his own classroom. This trait is also seen in his commitment to growing himself. Don has over twenty-five years of experience in multiple states, and he has decided to pursue National Board certification this year to continue his learning.

“Don is an amazing teacher,” says Sherry Bell, NCVPS Exceptional Children’s Director. “He works so well with his NCVPS OCS partner teachers. It is clear that he has developed a meaningful relationship with each of them, and he truly cares about his students and their learning. He does a wonderful job as his school’s ELA. He is very responsive when asked questions regarding registration and their student enrollments. It is a true privilege to work with him.”

About the North Carolina Virtual Public School

The North Carolina Virtual Public School is the nation’s second largest state-led virtual school with over 55,000 enrollments from all 115 school districts and many charter schools during the 2015-2016 school year. NCVPS offers over 150 different courses as a supplement to the local high school course catalogue and includes Advanced Placement, Occupational Course of Study, electives, traditional, honors and credit recovery courses. All courses are taught by teachers certified in North Carolina and provide strategies for active student engagement through a variety of technology tools. Teachers are required to make personal contact with students and parents regularly to maximize the student-teacher relationship. Courses are free to students who enroll through their local North Carolina public school. NCVPS is available to home-schooled and private school students for a minimal fee. By virtue of online course delivery, students now have access to rigorous courses and high-quality teachers regardless of ZIP code.