Thursday, July 31, 2014

July: All the non-Space Camp events

I want to tell you all about Space Camp, and I will. July was a packed month, Huntsville aside. So before I go into my adventures from last week, let me recap on all the non-Space Camp related activities.

Technically, the ECS policy forum was in July as well. As soon as I got off the train coming home from that event, I went to a reception for the Eastern Panhandle Community Foundation, the organization that recently established a scholarship in my name for Shepherd University students. After a day of finishing with ECS sessions, sitting on the train tracks in a humid, noisy car due to a torrential storm, followed by a bus ride from the train station in Brunswick to Martinsburg, I was spent. It happens.

The next day I headed to Shepherdstown to be interviewed by Cecelia Mason for a story for West Virginia Public Broadcasting and an upcoming article for Shepherd Alumni magazine. Cecelia is fantastic at what she does, and Shepherd is fortunate to have her on their campus. The story on West Virginia Public Broadcasting recently aired, and the article in Alumni will be out the fall. I appreciate the media coverage of my activities, as it's one way I'll be able to remember this incredible year.
Berkeley stopped by the Little House in Shepherdstown

Bears play piano too, you know.

The following week I headed to Flatwoods for a conference on the portfolio changes for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. This was an opportunity to not only learn about the revisions but to connect with teachers across the state that are candidate support providers. I also was able to meet with two other West Virginia Teachers of the Year, Eric Kincaid (2007) and MaryLu Hutchins (2008).
An amazing West Virginia cloud picture I took from my hotel room

This sign sums up how many directions I've been pulled in this year.

On Friday of that week, I was in my classroom to record segments for American Public University's teacher education program. A special thank you to Vice President Conrad Lotze and the media team of Lori Whitacre, David van der Goes, and Drew Broadbent for coming to Tomahawk and being fantastic to work with. Students at APU are all over the world, working on degrees through distance learning. I'm excited that my insights into education are going to be viewed and discussed by teacher education students from all corners of the earth. Technology allows us to have an unfathomable impact on others.
Ready, set, record!

Working in the media and in education are similar in that
you must have a passion for it.

Behind the scenes...

The following Monday I was in Charleston to speak to the Alpha Delta Kappa sisters at their biannual Southeast Regional Conference. I was recently inducted into ADK and am looking forward to opportunities forthcoming to serve the community through this organization. I also reached 10,000 miles on the odometer on my Prius on my way home from this event. Yes, I did.
Charleston Civic Center

SER Conference Choir

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito speaking to ADK

Welcoming ADK sisters to the conference

Quickly captured the milestone with my phone...then put it away.

With the exception of a meeting to prepare for next year's National Board cohort in Berkeley County, the rest of that week was spent preparing for International Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. I will tell you ALL about that experience over several posts, but condensing that week into this one post won't do it justice. Until I get some time to write this weekend, here are some teaser pictures.

Yesterday I closed out the month speaking to the principals and administrators in Jefferson County at their leadership academy. What a difference a year makes. This time last year I was at Berkeley County's leadership academy as an attendee, sweating out the notion that in T minus three days I would be having my finalist interview. Many (as in a room full) stayed after the academy was over one day to let me practice my speech with an audience. Just one of the many times this year I have been supported and lifted up. And then, this year, I addressed a room full of school leaders about just that: lifting one another up to bring the joy and be the voice of this profession. I will post the video of my speech when YouTube decides to cooperate today...or tomorrow...

Speaking at the Leadership Academy
I also hit the "send" button on an incredible opportunity bestowed upon each class of state teachers of the year. Walden University gives each state teacher of the year a tuition free scholarship to pursue a doctoral degree through their institution if they so choose. That's an offer that I'm not able to pass up, so once I determined I wanted to pursue the Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment track, I confirmed that I would like to begin course work at the end of October. I don't know what I will use it for or how it will impact my future endeavors, but it's important to me to have a personal goal to go after - even if it will take a long time to complete.

Last year feels like eons ago. I had no idea what I was getting into when I received a phone call last year that I was a state finalist - and I mean that in the best way humanly possible. It will take a separate blog post to delve into all that has changed within me over the last twelve months. My classroom is almost ready for a new school year, and I'm about to wind down this experience that has changed me and provided me with opportunities to impact others in ways I never could have imagined. A lot can happen in 365 days, and it happens faster than you can blink.

No comments:

Post a Comment