Lisa Coates, 2010 U.S. Department of Education Classroom Fellow, Liberty Middle School.
A first generation college student, Lisa understands the importance of public education and effective educators. Lisa teaches at Liberty Middle School in Hanover, Virginia. In 2007 she developed a Therapeutic Day Treatment Program for students with social/emotional disabilities in Hanover County, housed in Liberty Middle, and serves as the program’s lead. The goal of S.O.A.R Academy (Success, Opportunity, Achievement and Responsibility) is to facilitate improvements in students’ behavior and emotional stability, and education success in the least restrictive environment within the county school system. She also serves as a mentor teacher to staff that are new to the profession, hosts student teachers, tutors, mentors at-risk youth and participates on a variety of committees. She was named the Teacher of the Year at her school and the Virginia Association of Science Teachers (VAST) Teacher of the Year for outstanding science teaching to at-risk students. As a Teaching Ambassador Fellow, Lisa has demonstrated to other educators and back to the Department of Education, the important role teachers can play in educating students with emotional disabilities and allowing them to succeed both academically and personally.