Professional development opportunities are essential to the growth of local school systems

April 21, 2017

Written By: Emily Russell

At the heart of Martinsville and Henry County are its greatest assets: the community’s dedicated school systems. Magna Vista, Bassett, and Martinsville high schools are the stepping stones for instilling greatness in the youth of our community. In a sea of students who are maturing and aging into the people they wish to become, the professionals who work in the local school systems are the backbone of it all. Through professional development opportunities, the school systems in our area have had the opportunity to grow tremendously.

Denise Morrison, history teacher at Martinsville High School, has had the ability to submerge herself in professional development opportunities a countless number of times over her 41 years of teaching with Martinsville City Public Schools. Not only has she gone to national teaching conferences, she has also gained professional development insight right here in Martinsville and Henry County.


Martinsville City Public Schools has 13 built in professional development days throughout its 2016-2017 academic year. Morrison said that these 13 days are filled with “collaborative planning, common assessments, innovative and motivational speakers, and traditional workshops.”

At Magna Vista High School, Brook Hankins, an English teacher, says that “Teacher Leaders” are the largest form of professional development in the Henry County Public School System. Teacher leaders are a handpicked group of teachers in the school system who attend professional development conferences and workshops across the nation. The group then comes back to their schools and instill what they have learned into their colleagues.


Even though these workshops and conferences are designed to better teachers and administrators, both Morrison and Hankins fully believe that professional development opportunities greatly affect the students of the school systems without them even knowing.

Hankins said, “Professional Development breaks the pattern teachers have throughout their classroom.”

Morrison said “education is everchanging,” therefore professional development is essential to the growth of the faculty and students in the Martinsville City Public School System. 

“I can change on a dime if I see something isn’t working because of all the strategies I now have in my mind,” said Hankins.

Hankins feels that a good school system is essential to the continual growth of our community and through professional development opportunities and a continual advancement of the schools, great things can be achieved in our area.


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