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RU Alums Receive $25,000 McGlothlin Awards for Teaching Excellence

RADFORD -- Two Radford University alumni, Jayanne Bridges ’92 and Elizabeth Lester M.S. ’80, are the 2009 recipients of the prestigious McGlothlin Awards for Teaching Excellence.

The Tenth Anniversary McGlothlin Awards ceremony was held on Monday at Radford University. The awards rank among the largest individual teaching awards in the nation and are available only to educators from selected parts of Virginia, Tennessee, West Virginia and Kentucky. Each year two award winners, one teaching in grades K-5 and one in grades 6-12, receive $25,000 each, with the stipulation that $10,000 must be used, within a year, for international travel and/or study to broaden the thinking and experience of the winning teachers and further enhance their excellence as professional educators.

McGlothlin 09 WinnersAmong the six finalists for the 2009 awards was another RU alumna, Rebecca Boone ’74, who teaches at Troutville Elementary School in Botetourt County, Va. Bridges teaches at Christiansburg Middle School in Montgomery County, Va., and Lester at Patrick Henry Elementary School in Martinsville, Va. Teresa Hash of Marion Intermediate School in Smyth County, Va., Mary Slone of South Floyd High School in Floyd County, Ky., and Erin Wigginton of Pulaski County High School, Va., were also finalists for the awards.

(IN THE PHOTO: 2009 McGlothlin Award winners Jayanne Bridges, left, and Elizabeth Lester.).

Monday’s ceremony featured keynote speaker Randell Marie Bynum, Director of “The Electric Company” Outreach for Sesame Workshop, and Grover of “Sesame Street.” In a cameo appearance, familiar, sweet, blue, “Global” Grover, who spoke about his travels around the world to places like Japan, Africa, and “even New Jersey,” enraptured the audience and stage party.

Before the ceremony, presentations and activities offered by RU faculty and student volunteers drew dozens of children and their families to campus for a Family Celebration of Teaching and Learning. Bynum, of Sesame Workshop, gave a presentation for teachers, future teachers and parents on building children’s literacy skills using “The Electric Company,” which has been recreated for today’s children’s needs.

Tom McGlothlin with winnersDuring the awards ceremony and a reception following, Tom McGlothlin, president of the McGlothlin Foundation of Bristol, was honored for his conception and patronship of the awards, through which 20 teachers in the region have received recognition and the opportunity for international travel and study. The 18 previous winners have traveled the far reaches of the earth and brought back new perspectives and knowledge to share with their students, fellow teachers and communities.

(IN THE PHOTO: McGlothlin Award winners Elizabeth Lester and Jayanne Bridges with Tom McGlothlin and Grover of "Sesame Street.")

Since 1999 Blue Ridge PBS has worked alongside the McGlothlin Foundation to administer the awards. For the past seven years RU has partnered with the McGlothlin Foundation and Blue Ridge PBS in hosting the McGlothlin Celebration of Teaching and the McGlothlin Awards ceremony.

April 7, 2009
Contact: Mindy Buchanan-King mlbuchana@radford.edu; 540-831-7764)

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