On April 12, 2011, Radford University hosted the 12th Annual McGlothlin Celebration of Teaching ceremony. The event drew 750 guests and featured best-selling novelist and Appalachian icon Homer Hickam Jr., author of “Rocket Boys.”
“This event gets bigger and better every year,” RU President Penelope W. Kyle said in her welcoming remarks, noting that Radford’s origin more than a century ago as a teacher’s college makes it the perfect venue for the program, one of the nation’s largest teaching awards. She praised this year’s six finalists for “the passion, the creativity and the commitment it takes to turn books, computers and lesson plans into the keys that open up a world of possibilities for their students.”
Winner Lisa Taylor, who received a master’s degree from RU in 2005, teaches at Belview Elementary School in the Montgomery County Public Schools. Winner Liz Phillips teaches at Wallace Middle School in the Washington County Public Schools.
The McGlothlin Awards for Teaching Excellence are awarded each year to educators from the Appalachian region of Virginia, Tennessee, West Virginia and Kentucky. The winners must use $10,000 of their $25,000 prizes within a year for international travel or study to broaden their thinking and experience and to further enhance their excellence as professional educators. The awards recognize full-time classroom teachers with at least five years of experience.
Taylor said she will use her award to travel to China, exploring the Great Wall, and to the coast of the Australian outback. Phillips said she will travel to England and study the King Arthur legends and the “Just So” writings of Rudyard Kipling.
Established in Bristol in 1998, the McGlothlin Foundation supports a number of programs in higher education, health care and the arts across the region. Its giving in the latest fiscal year totaled nearly $860,000. Besides the foundation and Blue Ridge Public Television, co-sponsors for the annual awards are the Radford University College of Education and Human Development and the Radford University Foundation Inc.