Blue Springs, MO

Mary Franco, an art educator based in Blue Springs, Missouri has been moved by the way her students are motivated and engaged by VTS.

"I've never seen it happen that kids don't bring up, by themselves, the lesson I want them to pick up on," Franco says. "And, even after so many years, I continue to have 'ah-ha' moments."

VTS has changed the way Franco teaches in many fundamental ways. One of her students, who'd been hard to handle in the past, "wouldn't sit down, he had to stand up. He was giving some answer that was so amazing, and it changed the way I relate to him. No matter how challenging or challenged the student is, they all have something to say."

For Franco, the VTS professional development series has been not only a chance to practice with VTS experts and learn more about the research behind VTS, but also an opportunity to talk to other educators using VTS in their schools. "It has been exciting to be able to collaborate and discuss, to learn with people on the same page," she says. "I am always thrilled to attend a training where everyone is so excited."

Franco is currently a doctoral student conducting research with a remedial writing program for K-5 boys at a local elementary school in Columbia, MO. Additionally, she will present about VTS and the Boy Writers Club at the NAESP national principal's conference in July of 2013.