Virtual Village Classroom is a multi-dimensional, online educational platform, creating solutions for universities, corporations and organizations for online learning content delivery.
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In the spring of 2011, founder, Darren J. Butler, had conducted numerous professional development workshops for teachers. On follow-up visits, teachers asked if they could gain video of Butler modeling the writing process with their students. Thus, the idea for creating a virtual pathway to provide teachers with his resources was born.
From the beginning, its team of educators and specialists knew the focus had to be on providing a curriculum resource to teachers. Writing was the focus in August 2011 and throughout the pilot year with fifteen schools, feedback from teachers requesting cross curricular ability and the alignment of all lessons to Common Core was addressed. When analyzed data proved the techniques of vvClassroom’s educators and specialists rose test scores in reading comprehension and writing, the team knew it was time to establish the official K-8 writing program, Weekly Writer.
Since launching Weekly Writer, vvClassroom has engaged in many production opportunities including the publishing of many children’s, young adult and professional books- as well as plays and musicals. In the summer of 2012, vvClassroom moved its office to the Shoals Entrepreneur Center in Florence, Alabama. After reworking its business model and plan, the company received venture capital funding, enabling the hire of a talented and creative staff with a goal of improving writing skills across the global.
The Village Team
For four years, Darren J. Butler worked as the enrichment specialist at Benjamin Davis Magnet School, where he taught nearly three hundred first and second grade students using the Schoolwide Enrichment Model developed by Dr. Joseph Renzulli. Later, Butler followed his love of the writing craft into the classroom and became a writing consultant for schools across Alabama. He trained teachers and students in preparation for the Alabama Direct Assessment on Writing.
For twelve years, Butler increased test scores at these schools bringing them into the 90th percentile on a consistent basis. When the assessment was halted, Butler continued to work with schools for the Alabama Reading and Math Test, teaching students how to write for open-ended questions and stronger reading comprehension using his RIP (Read, Interpret, Predict) reading strategy.
In 2011, Butler launched Virtual Village Classroom, a multi-dimensional educational platform for online courses.
Freda Butler and her husband started Virtual Village Classroom in their basement in 2011. She is not only a CEO at VVC but also a CEO of the Butler family where she is the mother of four children. Between the soccer field and the board room, Butler brings a big picture objective to both worlds.
Butler has a degree from The University of Alabama and accredits her success to having strong grandmother influences in her life. Her favorite part of VVC is getting to be her husband’s sidekick. Butler is an active volunteer at St. Vincent de Paul in Florence, Alabama where she enjoys helping others.
Jennifer Oleham holds a Masters of Education degree from the University of North Alabama in Florence, Alabama, and an Administrative Certification from ACSI in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She taught in the classroom for fifteen years and served as an administrator for eight years. As an administrator Klinghard served as the K-12 Principal, Curriculum Coordinator, Accreditation Coordinator and CEU/Certification Coordinator. She has been involved in the development of curriculum, scope and sequence and objectives for multiple subjects and levels. She envisioned and oversaw the creation of an Elementary Science Lab at a local elementary school which allowed students K3-5th grade weekly, hands-on science opportunities, directed by a science specialists, which reinforced what they were learning in the regular classroom environment.
Before coming on board full time with Virtual Village Classroom, she was a contributor for the publication.
Oleham has two teenagers who keep her young and busy. Reading and writing are true passions she enjoys. She also is actively involved in many theatrical productions, including the annual production of The Miracle Worker, working behind the scenes as the Stage Manager.
Connie Konig is the voice behind Customer Service and Office Administrator at Virtual Village Classroom. If you have questions or a problem with any division or product of vvClassroom, she is your first point of contact for answers and resolutions. Konig’s professional experience ranges from the finance industry to child nutrition. She holds a B.S. degree from the University of North Alabama, an Mrs. and a M.O.M. degree from the school of L.I.F.E.
When not behind the desk at vvClassroom’s corporate office, you are likely to find her behind the lens of a camera, sewing or in the garden.
Kevin Shupenia was a typical science geek teen; he cultivated exotic fish, started a thriving computer business and minored in Music. After 10 years as Director of Information Technologies with financial giant KPMG, Shupenia left to join fledging educational technology company, Logical Choice Technologies in Atlanta, GA.
Over the next 12 years as Chief Operating Officer, Shupenia helped grow them into a $100M corporation. Shupenia’s varied experience in operations, project management, technology, accounting, legal and sales is now helping Virtual Village take its next steps.
In his spare time, Shupenia raises and shows champion hounds all around the USA, conducts AKC seminars and true to his roots, never misses a Mythbusters marathon.
Lee Taylor is a graduate of the University of North Alabama with a BA in Commercial Music. Originally from the Florida Panhandle, Taylor moved to Florence, Alabama in 2006 to attend college and pursue a career in multimedia production.
Taylor has been a part of building Virtual Village Classroom for over a year now and is constantly working to improve and polish our products and online presence.
At 27, Taylor already has over a decade of experience in graphic design, videography and audio production. Taylor’s goal in his career is to utilize his talents and abilities to not just entertain people or grab their attention, but to have a positive impact on their lives. This gives him a special passion for the world of educational media, something he knows from firsthand experience can impact the lives of others in an incredible way.
Some of Taylor’s greatest influences are the people who have done this in his own life like Fred Rogers, Bill Nye and Jim Henson.