Lynchburg, Roanoke teachers win McGlothlin Awards

2012 WinnersTwo top educators each receive $25,000

(Radford, Va.)—The winners of the 2012 McGlothlin Awards for Teaching Excellence are first-grade teacher Katherine Lear from Penn Forest Elementary School in Roanoke County, Va., and Thomas Foster who teaches earth and physical science at Paul L. Dunbar Middle School for Innovation in Lynchburg, Va. 

These top teachers accepted their awards and $25,000 checks during the McGlothlin Celebration of Teaching at Radford University on April 19. The annual ceremony is conducted by the McGlothlin Foundation of Bristol, Va. and Blue Ridge PBS, and hosted by the Radford University College of Education and Human Development.

Both Lear and Thomas must use $10,000 of their award for international travel. Thomas D. McGlothlin, president of the Bristol, Va.-based McGlothlin Foundation, said the travel requirement was added “as a way to broaden the teacher’s mind and bring the world back to the students. We think traveling the world is the best teacher there is.” The McGlothlin Awards are among the largest education prizes given in the United States.

“Blue Ridge PBS has been part of the McGlothlin Awards since their inception 13 years ago,” said James Baum, president and CEO of Blue Ridge PBS. “It’s always a privilege to work with the exceptional teachers who dedicate their lives to student success. We congratulate Kate and Thomas on their achievements.”

Four other McGlothlin finalists were each presented with a trophy and a check for $1,000: Jennifer Shamy, Roanoke Academy for Math and Science Elementary, Roanoke City Public Schools; Stephanie Johnston, Kipps Elementary, Montgomery County Public Schools; Stephen Biscotte, Cave Spring High School, Roanoke County Public Schools; and Evandro Valente, Tennessee High School, Bristol City Public Schools (Tenn.).

Prior to the announcement of the winners, all six candidates were featured in video segments produced by Emmy Award-winning Blue Ridge PBS. Coach Ken Carter, famed for his tough-love approach to his powerhouse high school basketball team in California, provided the keynote address.

The McGlothlin Foundation has given more than $600,000 to exceptional educators since 1999. Only teachers in selected portions of Virginia, Tennessee, West Virginia and Kentucky are eligible for the McGlothlin Awards for Teaching Excellence. Two winning teachers, one from grades K-5 and one from grades 6-12 are chosen every year by a panel of distinguished educators. Blue Ridge PBS administers the months-long candidate application and judging process. 

More information about the McGlothlin Awards is available at www.BlueRidgePBS.org.

About Blue Ridge PBS
Blue Ridge PBS is the winner of the 2010 and 2009 Regional Emmy Awards for community service for “JobQuest.” 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, Blue Ridge PBS offers outstanding informational, educational and cultural programming, along with an award-winning local production team devoted to regional issues and interests. Further, over 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
Located in the heart of the New River Valley, Virginia, RU features a student body of approximately 9,000, and nationally recognized faculty-student collaborations. RU offers 67 degree programs at the undergraduate level and 20 fields of study at the graduate level that have 18 options or specializations and seven post baccalaureate certificates. RU has recently opened a state-of-the art visual and performing arts center, renovated three major campus buildings and added doctoral degrees in nursing practice, physical therapy and psychology, and a master’s in occupational therapy. Outside the classroom, RU supports a culturally diverse student population through a wealth of co-curricular activities and events, outstanding NCAA Division I athletics, a commitment to environmental sustainability, and a beautiful campus.

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Photo caption:  

The 2012 McGlothlin Award winners are Katherine Lear, Penn Forest Elementary School, Roanoke County Public Schools and Thomas Foster, Paul L. Dunbar Middle School for Innovation, Lynchburg City Public Schools.


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