Two of Ashe County’s most dedicated educators have been rewarded for their hard work and success in the classroom with scholarships to further their education.
Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation and the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce Education Committee awarded the 2012 Price-Deverick Scholarships during a recognition ceremony at Blue Ridge’s West Jefferson office on May 11.
This year, Ashe County Middle School’s Penny Barker, a business and technology teacher, and Mountain View Elementary’s Chelsea Clanton, a second grade teacher, were each awarded the scholarship by BREMCO’s Ashe District Manager Kay Sexton, and congratulated by district administrators and members of the Chamber Education Committee.
Each year, BREMCO offers up to $5,000 in scholarships to teachers in the district for professional development for license renewal, continuing education, curriculum enrichment, educational travel, or advanced degree. Recipients must continue to teach within Ashe County schools during the following school year and provide information related to how the professional development provided educational benefit to students.
Award winners are chosen based on selection criteria established by the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce Education Committee.
“The Ashe County Chamber of Commerce Education Committee lays the groundwork and makes the selection,” said Sexton. “And it’s always a very difficult selection, with lots of applications. They’re always wonderful and we wish we could fund them all because we always get a wonderful array of ability, talent, and dedication.”
Barker, who instructs seventh and eighth grade students in the exploration of business technologies and computer skills, will use her award to pursue a Doctorate of Education at Appalachian State University.
“I am an advocate of transforming schools into communities of learners, where all who come under the roof of the school are discovering the difficulties, the successes, and excitement of learning,” said Barker in her application.
Clanton will use her award to pursue an advanced teaching credential, National Board Certification. In her application, Clanton quoted research from a 2008 National Research Council Report that documented students instructed by NBC teachers demonstrate higher gains on achievement tests than students taught by non-Nationally Board Certified teachers.
“Participating in this program will allow me to examine my own teaching practice and look for ways to improve so that my students will be ready for the 21st century,” said Clanton in her application.
The scholarship is named for the late Barbara Deverick of Caldwell County and Gwyn Price of Ashe County.
Price, a Creston native, spent 28 years as a teacher and principal. He helped organize electric and telephone cooperatives and was a founding director of Blue Ridge Electric.
“I had the privilege of knowing Mr. Price for many years,” said Sexton. “I always thought of him as a true gentleman.”
Price also served as the head of the NC Rural Electric Authority for 31 years between 1941-1972, under nine different governors.
“Barbara Deverick was equally devoted to her community,” said Sexton. “She was in our Blue Ridge family here for 43 years in our Caldwell County area. She had a passion for education and a servant’s heart.”
Deverick served on the board of directors for Caldwell Community College and chaired the Caldwell County School Board.
“She leaves an outstanding legacy of wanting to be the helping hand that ensured our children grow and learn,” said Sexton.