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Pamela MacDonald teaches fifth grade at Macy McClaugherty Elementary School in Pearisburg.
Pamela J. MacDonald
Friday, April 19, 2013
A New River Valley teacher is one of two McGlothlin Awards for Teaching Excellence winners.
Pamela MacDonald, a fifth-grade teacher at Macy McClaugherty Elementary School in Pearisburg, was presented with one of teaching’s highest honors during a ceremony Thursday at Radford University’s Bondurant Auditorium, according to a news release.
The awards are given annually by the McGlothlin Foundation of Bristol and honor teachers in selected portions of Virginia, Tennessee, West Virginia and Kentucky.
Each year two teachers, one from grades kindergarten through five and one from grades six to 12, are named winners and receive $25,000 each. They must use $10,000 for international travel and then apply that experience to their teaching.
MacDonald, whose classroom has a Starbucks coffeehouse theme used to teach lessons such as practical personal finance, has said she hoped to use that theme in her global travels if she was named a winner, according to the release.
“In keeping with the cafe theme, I would love to travel to Europe and visit cafes across the continent. I would also like to capture on film some of the many architectural feats of Europe to use in conjunction with a unit on geometry,” she said in a statement.
MacDonald is in her second year at Macy McClaugherty Elementary. She has previously taught in nearby Pulaski County, as well as at schools in North Carolina and Florida. She is a 2001 graduate of Florida Atlantic University and has three young children.
She was one of six finalists selected earlier from a group of about 20 semifinalists after judges reviewed a standards-based lesson plans from teachers along with a 20-minute video of them teaching the lesson. Judges conducted interviews to further narrow the finalists to two.
Washington County teacher Steven Ahn was this year’s other McGlothin winner. Ahn is an earth science and biology teacher at Abingdon High School. Before he went into teaching, he was an environmental chemist.
Ahn plans to use his winnings to visit and observe schools in Finland, Norway and Iceland, according to the news release.
“Geologic time and earth history are much more vivid if the same coal that formed in the Carboniferous period and whose presence has been a steering influence on Appalachia is correlated with related oil deposits that have similarly steered Norway’s history,” Ahn said in a statement.
Thomas McGlothlin, president of the McGlothlin Foundation, presented MacDonald and Ahn with checks and trophies at the evening awards ceremony, according to a news release.
Actor Henry Winkler was the evening’s keynote speaker.
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