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Top teacher keeps students involved

July 04, 2005|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA.

charlestown@herald-mail.com

One of Nancy Broadley's third-grade students this past year at Ranson Elementary School was a learning- disabled student who had problems with spelling and motor control.

Because of his motor-control disability, the student's writing was difficult to read.

Broadley, who recently was named Jefferson County Teacher of the Year, wasn't content to let it end there.

In one of the classroom writing assignments, Broadley came up with the idea of having the student read his work to a teacher, who transcribed it.

The student ended up winning a young writer's award in the school system this year for his piece.

In her 25 years of teaching at Ranson Elementary School, Broadley has become known for a teaching style that molds the curriculum to fit the child.

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She said it is vital to do whatever she can to help students through the education process so each student can enjoy success.

"We're very interactive," Broadley said of her approach.

Broadley's style earned her the award of Jefferson County Teacher of the Year during a Jefferson County Board of Education meeting last month.

The award enables Broadley to compete for West Virginia Teacher of the Year.

Success is on a roll at Ranson Elementary School.

During the same board of education meeting, Principal Debra Corbett, who has been at Ranson Elementary for 13 years, was named principal of the year. Patricia Burch, secretary in the office of attendance and alternative education programs in the central office, was named service personnel employee of the year.

Broadley began her career in the local school system in 1980 as a teacher for hearing-impaired students. She worked as a sign-language instructor and taught at the West Virginia School for the Deaf in Romney, W.Va.

Ranson Elementary colleague Bett Sims said she thinks Broadley's expertise in meeting the needs of special- education students has given her the edge in how to custom-fit curriculum for other students.

Corbett described Broadley as a "very strong and focused" teacher who also enjoys sharing her skills with newly hired teachers at the North Preston Street school.

"She really gives a lot of extra time," Corbett said.

Broadley's classroom is where education comes to life.

A science lesson once evolved into building a volcano in class. When Broadley teaches astronomy, students take on the roles of the different planets. Broadley then has the students revolve around each other to show them how orbiting takes place in space.

In social studies, students have elections and take sides on issues as part of their civics studies.

"Textbooks are not necessarily written for children. They're written for adults," said Broadley, explaining the need to stray from conventional teaching from time to time.

"I didn't like sitting at a desk when I was a kid. I don't make my kids sit at a desk for a long period of time," Broadley said.

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