Six teachers named finalists for 13th annual McGlothlin Awards

Local educators vying for $25,000 prizes 

(ROANOKE, Va.)—Six of the Blue Ridge region’s best teachers have been selected as finalists for the 2012 McGlothlin Awards for Teaching Excellence. Two winners, who will be awarded $25,000 each, will be announced April 19 at a ceremony conducted by the McGlothlin Foundation, Blue Ridge PBS and Radford University’s College of Education and Human Development.

The six finalists (shown left to right) are: Katherine Lear, Penn Forest Elementary, Roanoke County Public Schools; Jennifer Shamy, Roanoke Academy of Math & Science, Roanoke City Public Schools; Stephanie Johnston, Kipps Elementary, Montgomery County Public Schools; Stephen Biscotte, Cave Spring High School, Roanoke County Public Schools; Thomas Foster, Paul L. Dunbar Middle School for Innovation, Lynchburg City Public Schools; and Evandro Valente, Tennessee High School, Bristol City Public Schools (Tenn.).

2012 McGlothlin Award Finalists

The awards ceremony, which is open to the public, begins at 7 p.m. in Bondurant Auditorium at Radford University’s Preston Hall. Coach Carter will be the guest speaker for the event. The awards ceremony concludes an afternoon of activities marking the McGlothlin Celebration of Teaching, which starts at 4 p.m. at various locations on campus. 

“Blue Ridge PBS is proud to honor teachers with the McGlothlin Awards, one of the largest teaching awards in the nation,” said Dr. Rose Martin, director of education services for the station. “We don’t need to wait for Superman in our schools. We have unsung heroes right here in our region’s classrooms. The McGlothlin Awards celebrate their work, their excellence and innovation in teaching.”

Blue Ridge PBS administers the months-long candidate application and judging process for the McGlothlin Awards, now in its 13th year. The awards are given annually by the McGlothlin Foundation of Bristol, Va. Only teachers in selected portions of Virginia, Tennessee, West Virginia and Kentucky are eligible. Two winning teachers, one from grades K-5 and one from grades 6-12, must use $10,000 of the $25,000 award for international travel, and then apply that experience to enrich their teaching.

The finalists, who were selected from 20 semi-finalists, were judged based on a standards-based lesson plan with a 20-minute video of themselves teaching the lesson in their classrooms. Judges will next conduct interviews to further evaluate the finalists. Criteria include classroom instruction, classroom management, interaction with students, and use of instructional technology such as computers, video, or digital cameras. 

“The judges are challenged to finalize their selections,” said Adele Morris, technology director for Craig County Public Schools and McGlothlin Awards judge. “This is an elite group of individuals who are extremely dedicated, talented and appreciated by their students, school and community.”

Blue Ridge PBS has administered the McGlothlin Awards since 1999. For more information about the awards, the April 19 ceremony and the McGlothlin Celebration of Teaching, visit www.radford.edu/mcglothlin/ 

About Blue Ridge PBS
Blue Ridge PBS is the 2010 and 2009 winner of the regional Emmy Award for community service broadcasting. The winning production, “JobQuest,” exemplifies how the station is able to address the history, arts, culture, educational needs and economic health of an entire region. Founded in 1967, Blue Ridge PBS is the sole public multimedia enterprise serving 4 million individuals in portions of five states. The station’s 26,000 square-mile coverage area includes southwestern Virginia and bordering counties in Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, and North Carolina. As the region’s storyteller and a locally owned entity, Blue Ridge PBS pursues stories and issues that speak directly to viewers. Further, 200,000 schoolchildren and their teachers benefit from the station’s education services that provide a safe, trusted environment for innovative on-air and online learning. Blue Ridge PBS is comprised of WBRA-TV/DT in Roanoke, WSBN-TV/DT in Norton, and WMSY-TV/DT in Marion, Va. www.BlueRidgePBS.org                      

About the McGlothlin Foundation
Beginning in a farmhouse nestled in the mountains of Buchanan County, Va., the McGlothlin family was sustained in their early years through farming and coal mining. As their success grew, the family business became involved in oil, gas, real estate and financial services. The McGlothlin Foundation was created in 1998 to support worthy causes in higher education, health care, and the arts in southwest Virginia, West Virginia, eastern Kentucky and northeast Tennessee. 

About Radford University
Radford University is a comprehensive, mid-sized university located in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Southwest Virginia. Serving a student population of approximately 9,400, Radford features small class sizes and a strong service orientation on a beautiful 191-acre campus. The university offers 67degree programs and two certificates at the undergraduate level; 16 master’s programs with 19 concentrations and three doctoral programs with four concentrations at the graduate level; and five post-baccalaureate certificates.  A NCAA Division I member, Radford currently participates in 19 varsity sports, 11 for women and eight for men. Radford University is recognized for its commitment to sustainability and responsible stewardship of economic, social and environmental resources.  www.radford.edu

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