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Blue Ridge PBS Announces 2010 McGlothlin Awards Semi-finalists;
Radford University to Host April 13 Events

RADFORD – Twenty outstanding teachers from across the Blue Ridge region have been selected as semi-finalists for the 11th annual McGlothlin Awards for Teaching Excellence. These teachers now begin the second phase of the awards program which will culminate April 13, 2010, 4 - 7 p.m., at Radford University.

Among the finalists are RU alumni Melissa Kile M.S. ’98, a teacher at Auburn Elementary School in Montgomery County, Va., and Sharon Hill ’85, a teacher at Glenvar Middle School in Roanoke County, Va.

In the 10 years since the awards were established by the McGlothlin Foundation, this Bristol, Va. philanthropic organization  has given $540,000 to teachers in the Blue Ridge region. McGlothlin Awards are given annually to exceptional educators from public schools in selected portions of Virginia, Tennessee, West Virginia and Kentucky. Two teachers, one from grades K-5 and one from grades 6 - 12, are awarded $25,000 each, with the stipulation that $10,000 be used for international travel to broaden the thinking and experience of the winning teachers. The McGlothlin Awards are among the largest teaching prizes in the U.S.

“Blue Ridge PBS is entering its second decade with the McGlothlin Awards,” said James Baum, station President and CEO. “This year’s semi-finalists are among the best teachers in our region and I’m sure they are already winners in the eyes of their students and peers.”

The 2010 McGlothlin Awards semi-finalists in the elementary category are: Jennifer Barger, Glenvar Elementary, Roanoke County Schools, Va.; Anne Chamberlin, Paul Munro Elementary, Lynchburg City Schools, Va.; Larry Elkins, Price’s Fork Elementary, Montgomery County Schools, Va.; Lisa Fleming, Baywood Elementary, Grayson County Schools, Va.; LaCosta Hodges, Oakvale Elementary School, Mercer County Schools, W.Va.; Melissa Kile, Auburn Elementary, Montgomery County Schools, Va.; Amanda Patterson, Edgemont Primary, Covington City Schools, Va.; Shari Scudder, Stuart Elementary, Patrick County Schools, Va.; Deborah Six, Lashmeet/Matoaka Elementary, Mercer County Schools, W.Va.; Allyson Willis, Watauga Elementary, Washington County Schools, Va.

The 2010 McGlothlin Awards semi-finalists in the secondary category are: Jane Carter, Castlewood High School, Russell County Schools, Va.; Andrew Givens, Floyd County High School, Floyd  County Schools, Va.; Susan Hampton, Virginia Middle School, Bristol City Schools, Va.; Sharon Hill, Glenvar Middle School, Roanoke County Schools, Va.; Denise Moran, Rustburg High School, Campbell County Schools, Va.; Liz Phillips, Wallace Middle School, Washington County Schools, Va.; Steve Rapp, Linwood Holton Governor’s School, Abingdon, Va.; Steven Sizemore, William Byrd Middle School, Roanoke County Schools, Va.; Kelly Vance, Tennessee High School, Bristol City Schools, Tenn.; Debbie Williams-Arthur, William Byrd High School, Roanoke County Schools, Va.

“Every year I’m amazed at the skills, creativity and professionalism we find among teachers across the Blue Ridge PBS region,” said Thomas D. McGlothlin, President of the McGlothlin Foundation.

Years ago, when Merle Herndon was an elementary school principal, one of the teachers she nominated won a McGlothlin Award. Now Herndon, who is the Director for Professional Development/School Business Partnerships for Lynchburg City Schools, is one of the judges reviewing McGlothlin applications.

“For the last 10 years I have had the pleasure of being a judge for this prestigious award,” she said. “This journey has reinforced for me the importance of teachers ‘bringing the world to the classroom’ for students. Tom McGlothlin has truly demonstrated his belief that teachers do make a difference in the lives of children and to the future of our nation.”

Blue Ridge PBS has administered the McGlothlin Awards since 1999. In the next phase of judging, the semi-finalists must submit a standards-based lesson plan with a 20-minute video of themselves teaching the lesson in their classrooms. Judges will evaluate the teachers’ classroom instruction, classroom management, interaction with students, and, if possible, use of instructional technology such as computers, video, or digital cameras. Six finalists, three each at the elementary school level and secondary school level, will be notified in January 2010.

Further details about the McGlothlin Awards for Teaching Excellence are available by calling (888) 332-7788 and visiting This website also has information about other Blue Ridge PBS education services, including instructional broadcasts, extensive online resources, special projects and professional development for teachers. Additional information is available on RU’S McGlothlin website. The site is being updated; check back frequently for new information.

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.

Blue Ridge PBS, founded in 1967, 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.

Dec. 23, 2009
Contact: Bonnie Q. Erickson (; 540-831-5804)

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