Victoria “Vickie” Oakley knew at a young age that she wanted to become a teacher to help children learn how to read.  Growing up in Alexandria, VA, right outside of Washington D.C., she suffered from dyslexia, a learning di...

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September Instructor Spotlight

          “Fain is a non-traditional candidate with an earnest desire to teach and give back,” stated Andrew Feller, Program Manager of EdForce™, PCG Education's staffing service. “I’ve worked with him since April of this year to help him get a job. He’s a great person.”

          Recently hired as a first-year ninth and tenth grade English teacher at Greensville County Public Schools, in Emporia, VA, Fain Riopelle is a twenty-four-year-old graduate from Hamilton College. Located in Clinton, NY, Fain earned his degree from Hamilton College in Creative Writing. After suffering from a severe heart condition that prevented him from attending years of school with his peers, he has now finished high school, graduated college with high honors, and is currently teaching and inspiring students.

          “I love teaching, I love writing, and I love teaching writing,” Fain simply states. “When the kids get it, their look of realization is great. I’m teaching some complex stuff; essentially, it’s all the things I wish I had known before going through high school and college. As such, some of it is stuff I would give to college students. So, when they can wrap their heads around it, I know we’re making progress—real progress that’s going to help them in the future. I’m hoping I can provide my ninth and tenth graders with the foundation in English and writing skills that they’ll need when they get to the higher levels.”

          Fain has been teaching at Greensville County High School (GCHS) for less than a month, but he is already excelling in many different aspects of teaching.  Most of his students’ grades, so far, have been based on effort and engagement and he takes pride in being a flexible teacher. He says his philosophy is, “If it doesn’t work, toss it out and try something else. As long as they follow classroom rules, I want to try whatever works to get them engaged and learning.”

          He likes to differentiate his teaching by working with students one-on-one, while also allowing his students to break into small groups for discussions. He says he tends to be good at adapting to a specific person in a face-to-face conversation, and he has experience working directly with students while tutoring high school students in college. On the other hand, he is aware that when students are in small groups, this can allow him to observe individual groups and even individual students. This also gives him time to help a student if they are falling behind.

          As an active teacher, trying to teach students that fun can be important to learning, Fain likes to move around the room, almost like a performer. He finds his students seem to stay more focused on the lesson and has discovered that if he is having fun while teaching, then it is much easier to get his students to have fun with things, as well.


          EdForce™ had a significant role in helping Fain get a job. He states, “EdForce™ basically made this happen from start to finish. I want to thank the EdForce™ team for all the help – and when I say ‘help,’ I mean ‘doing basically all the work so that all I had to do was fill out a form or two and go to an interview.’ EdForce™ was great, because – to put it plainly – it let me pass on the busy work of job application to someone else while I focused on other applications/work.  They’re most of the reason I have this opportunity. It’s been a true pleasure working with the EdForce team and PCG and I am grateful that PCG and EdForce™ were able to find me an interview. I’m looking forward to working with the EdForce™ program more.”

          Members of the EdForce™ team really wanted to assist Fain through the licensure process while helping him find a job, and then eventually training him for an interview. The team started by guiding him through the licensure process in Virginia. In doing so, Fain and EdForce™ members discovered together that he was eligible for a provisional license to teach English. Andrew Feller then kept Fain informed of where job openings might be and answered his questions regarding his licensure route. Finally, an opportunity was found in Emporia at GCHS and EdForce™ provided him one-on-one interview prepping. Fain was hired and placed within two days.

          PCG Education would like to thank Fain for his inspirational dedication to students. We are looking forward to hearing stories of success and accounts of how he has positively changed students’ lives.

Article written by Summer Tarpley.