The McGlothlin Awards for Teaching Excellence 2002 Winners

The 2002 McGlothlin Awards for Teaching Excellence Blue Ridge PBS and a panel of distinguished judges from the region's education community congratulate the winners of the 2002 McGlothlin Award for Teaching Excellence—two prizes of $25,000.00 each. The McGlothlin Awards, established in March 2000 by the McGlothlin Foundation, are among the largest awards for the recognition of teaching excellence in the United States. A stipulation of the awards is that $10,000.00 of the $25,000.00 prize is to be used for international travel to broaden the thinking and experience of the winning teachers, further enhancing their excellence as professional educators in a global society.

Ben Bazak, Patrick Henry High School, Roanoke, Virginia

Ben BazakBen Bazak brings a wealth of experience and expertise to his classroom. A teacher for over 20 years, Ben has had a wide variety of professional duties including teaching secondary math at schools in Athens, Greece and Vienna, Austria, working as a division wide secondary math coordinator, school-wide technology coordinator, soccer coach, and Mathematics Chairperson. But what keeps him coming back year after year are his students.

Ben establishes personal relationships with his students, who continue to seek him out for advice and guidance even after graduation, With his wide experience and the http://www.roanoke.k12.va.us/mcglothlin/bazak/high regard that others have for him, Ben has had plenty of options during the course of his career, but in his own words, "There is no other place I would rather be than teaching." He is currently teaching Algebra, A.P. Calculus and A.P. Statistics.

Ben used his travel stipend to visit sites in the ancient Mediterranean world to recreate how mathematicians in Egypt, Greece and Italy calculated the circumference of the earth, designed aqueducts, and moved large boats. He communicated electronically with students in Southwest Virginia as he traveled, thereby making his own trip useful to learners back home. Find out more about his travels...

Wade Whitehead, Crystal Spring Elementary, Roanoke, Virginia

Wade WhiteheadAlthough Wade Whitehead comes from a family of teachers, his parents asked him to give some thought to considering other, more lucrative and prestigious careers. He did, and then became a teacher anyway. He says he knows the decision was the right one, and a long list of honors and awards justifies his choice. Wade approaches the classroom with gusto, and enjoys applying the principles of learning that he has studied in post-graduate work. He says he enjoys being privy to the clusters of information that generations of teachers before us did not have, and applying it in his class. It is this interest in the way education works that led Wade to undergo the rigorous National Board Certification.

Wade has also helped train other teachers in his division and at national conferences, and last year taught a group of senior citizens from the neighborhood around the school how to use computers. Many of them had lived near the school for years but had never been inside. He says that working with students, teachers and community members inproves his skill as a teacher and enhances his effectiveness.

Mr. Whitehead plans to use his teaching award to travel to Rome to stand in the shadows of the Coliseum and tour Pompeii so that he can bring back a first hand account of the ancient world for his students. He then plans to create a web site that would be available to anyone teaching about the roots of western civilization.

Special thanks go to Tom McGlothlin and the McGlothlin Foundation for making this important recognition of teaching excellence possible. The McGlothlin Awards for Teaching Excellence are administered by Blue Ridge PBS.

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