A long-time teacher and former West Virginia Board of Education president will be honored Sunday (Aug. 25) at a West Virginia University event highlighting teaching and the land-grant mission.
Priscilla Haden, a retired teacher who taught social studies and English for 28 years, will receive the 2013 Civitas Society Award from the WVU Center for Democracy and Citizenship Education, which is hosting Sunday’s “Institutional Citizenship Programs” event.
“She’s a lifetime resident, scholar, teacher and supporter of the University,” center Director Robert Waterson said about Haden. “She’s a wonderful person.”
Haden has also served on the Kanawha County Board of Education, the League of Women Voters, Hi-Y Youth in Government Committee, National Center for Learning and Citizenship, among others.
In addition, the Center for Democracy and Citizenship Education will present its Model Scholar-Teachers awards to three WVU alums who are now teaching high school students across the state.
• Hannah Gearhart, Richwood High School, Richwood. In June 2009, Gearhart graduated from WVU with a master’s degree in education and a social studies certification. While seeking a permanent position, she worked at Westmoreland County Community College teaching remedial classes. She was employed as a social studies teacher for Gilmer County High School in January 2012. At Gilmer High, she had worn many hats as a cheerleading coach, prom sponsor and Olympic coordinator. She just signed a contract at Richwood High School, where she will teach 10th- and 11th-grade American history and Advanced Placement 10th-grade American history.
• Matthew Cox, Capital High School, Charleston. Cox graduated from the Benedum Collaborative in 2011 with his master’s degree in secondary education/social studies. He was hired in July 2011 in Kanawha County and teaches at Capital High School in Charleston. Cox has taught 10th- and 11th-grade U.S. history I and II classes and is slated to teach Advanced Placement European history this fall along with A.P.U.S. history I.
• Philip Caskey, University High School, Morgantown. A native of Martinsburg and 2012 graduate of the College of Education and Human Services, Caskey was hired as a social studies educator at University High School in July. He will teach civics, honors civics and world history. He previously served as a social studies substitute at Clay-Battelle High School. He was also a graduate provost fellow in 2011-12, and participated in both the Lincoln and Holocaust literacy programs sponsored by the Center for Democracy and Citizenship Education.
A current WVU student will also be recognized at the event. Sarah Summers, a secondary education/interdepartmental studies student, had received the 2013 William G. Monahan Award for outstanding scholarship, leadership and service. She has aided in research published in peer-reviewed journals and gained classroom experience as an intern in the Benedum Collaborative program.
Recently, Summers signed a contract with Ripley High School in Ripley, W.Va., where she will be teaching social studies at the secondary level. The award was created in honor of former CEHS dean William Monahan (1927-2011) to recognize outstanding graduating students.
A 5 p.m. discussion on “The Mission of the Land-Grant University in the 21st Century” is free and open to the public at the WVU Erickson Alumni Center. A.G. Rud, professor of the Washington State University College of Education, will serve as keynote speaker. His research focuses on the cultural foundations of education, with particular emphasis on the moral dimensions of teacher education, P-12 educational leadership and higher education.
Waterson, the Center for Democracy and Citizenship Education director, said it’s a day to celebrate the university’s land-grant mission and those who make it a reality. Sunday’s events reflect the center’s vision for developing a roadmap for institutional engagement and outreach, he said.
Waterson founded the center four years ago to promote civic education, a key component of the land-grant mission.
“I’m a product of the land-grant,” said Waterson, who earned his Ph.D. from Purdue University, a land-grant institution. “My parents lived through the Great Depression and World War II, and my father was someone who left school in the eighth grade because of poverty. But my parents made sure I understood the value of education.
“I’ve seen unbelievable change in the lives of people from what land-grant universities can do for them. That’s a reason why we want to honor these individuals because their work ties back to the land-grant mission.”
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