Key School Staff
A Dedicated Team of Professionals
From researching physics in a nuclear laboratory, teaching English in Malaysia, developing a math dictionary, working in children's publishing, reporting on television, being foster parents, to running the Boston marathon in record time, our faculty brings a variety of valuable experiences and insights to Key School.
With a commitment to professional development, our highly trained teachers use a unified, intentional, cohesive approach. Dedicated and caring, Key's teachers are committed to helping children become successful students.
Every teacher at Key School is Orton-Gillingham-trained. Each language teacher has completed a rigorous, supervised clinical teaching experience to ensure a high level of compentancy with multisensory structured language instructional principles. Math teachers are trained in the multisensory math principles and approach. Both language and math teachers use a five-step Orton-Gillingham-based lesson plan which includes visual, auditory, and kinesthetic teaching and ample review and reinforcement in a teaching-for-mastery environment.
Key School provides its own teacher training to all faculty, under the supervision of a Fellow of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE). Key uses the curriculum standards of AOGPE and is accredited by the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC). Teachers are in the mindset of continuous improvement and lifelong learning. Two-thirds of the faculty have passed a national certifying examination and are credentialed at the Certified Academic Language Practitioner level or the Certified Academic Language Therapist level.
B.A., St. Andrews Presbyterian College 1992
Get to know Betsey Gaddy:
In what ways can you teach/engage children at CDS that you couldn't at other schools? “With the multi-sensory approach to teaching at CDS, our teachers and students participate in learning through all their senses. This allows us to experience the curriculum, not simply teach it. At CDS, teachers indeed hold great power in our hands. With that power, we are challenged to inspire and to demonstrate to students the ways to create a positive, respectful community.”
What do you like most about your job at CDS? “Teachers, children, and parents smile at CDS. I love that because great teachers smile while teaching, along with working hard, we almost always have fun. I love what I am doing and have great enthusiasm for teaching. I spend my days with happy people. We are devoted, passionate, and smiling. :)”
In your opinion, how does the CDS community inspire students to be courageous and curious, wonder about things that they don’t understand, try new things, and develop individual passions? “Our language and words can lift a child to their highest potential. At CDS, we help them build positive relationships and encourage them to think, to act, and, ultimately, to learn differently and successfully. We ask open-ended questions (even as early as Pre-k) to stretch their thinking. We provide a safe, positive, respectful community where a child is challenged to be an individual and to reach their highest potential.”
How would you describe your classroom? “A positive, safe environment where a child’s mind, body, and spirit are embraced, loved, and respected.”
What books and authors inspire you? “I have recently re-read Richard Louv’s “Last Child in the Woods” book. I am overly inspired with his stunning findings of why it is so beneficial for our children to “play outdoors.” His findings of essential healthy childhood development and the need for direct exposure to nature are refreshing and important. My Pre-k class has spent plenty of time playing in the woods this year and they have used their creativity to make-up games and find “treasure” in nature that may not have been found before. Asking open-ended, curious questions to prompt deeper thinking is provided through natural play. Creativity and imagination come to life, when WE play in the woods.”
What is your favorite quote about education, mentorship, children, and/or learning? “Good teaching is as much about passion as it is about reason...It’s about caring for your craft, having a passion for it, and conveying that passion to everyone, most importantly to your students.”
How would you describe yourself and/or your approach to your job in 10 words or less? “My devotion and passion for every child makes a difference.”
Which classroom projects/events are you known for? “My alter-ego, Nancy Nature, arrives once a month to deliver a science lesson (one that may not be so fun, if she didn’t “dress it up.”) She/I was teaching the water cycle to the class one morning. The experiment was to cause precipitation to fall, after allowing enough condensation to collect from a boiling pot of water. The children had already learned that science is not always accurate and needs to be proven or disproven. The pot was boiling with a plastic tray covering the top, we waited to see if enough water vapors had collected on the tray to cause precipitation. The first try failed and no amount of water had risen to the tray. We tried again, with little luck....then one child said “Maybe you should let the water boil harder and leave the tray there longer to see if it works with more condensation on the tray.” We waited patiently, without a sound, and what do you know, when Nancy lifted the tray, drops fell rapidly to the floor. The words, “We made it rain in the classroom.” It was a success! The children took credit in experiencing a true scientific event and remind me that pace and patience pays off. Their sense of wonder and curiosity is a proven fact daily.”
What personal passion brings balance to your life? “I am an active mother of two great teenagers. I am an avid follower of my daughter’s youth rowing association and my son’s karate drive (he is a 12 year old 1st degree brown belt). We enjoy walking, reading, and traveling together. I hope my love for them is exhibited to my students and my maternal instincts are obvious to them and their parents.”
Is there anything else we should know about you and your work? “My greatest desire is to be a mother of strong, secure children and to smile all the while. Interesting, that is the same desire I have as a teacher at Carolina Day School.”
How is CDS different from what you experienced as a child in school? “Our “out of the box” thinking and allowance for creativity is not what I experienced in school. The constant desire at CDS to do well and follow the Golden Rule is a reminder of what many of us did not have in our schools growing up. The ability to be an individual, to think/speak for themselves and to feel secure in learning is how we change lives daily here. These are not only academic, social, and emotional skills, but they are life skills. I believe the CDS community gets satisfaction and pleasure knowing what we have brought to other people’s lives. We have made an impact and a difference. Thomas A. Edison was quoted saying, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” My belief is that the CDS community prides itself in “trying just one more time.”