Alumna Barbara-Ann Adcock Receives Presidential Award
Barbara-Ann Adcock (B.S. ‘88 Elem Ed) is among 213 educators across the nation named by President Barack Obama on August 22 as recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
“When anyone receives an award like this, it is not all of their own doing,” Adcock said. “I have been very fortunate to have received my beginning education in teaching from UVA’s Curry School of Education, where I learned that creating a student based, inquiry-based classroom is best for my students. Throughout my career I worked to do that.”
Adcock added that she was also very fortunate to work in a district that accepted and supported innovation in teaching. “My teammates, other teachers and administrators have encouraged me and supported me to keep growing as an educator. The students also motivated me to keep learning new strategies. I wouldn’t be getting this award if it weren’t for my village, which began with Curry and now includes Powhatan County,” she said.
The award — regarded as the nation’s top honor for mathematics and science teachers — recognizes teachers who develop and implement high-quality instructional programs that improve student learning. Adcock, formerly an elementary school teacher at Pocahontas Elementary School in Powhatan County, earned the presidential award for K-6 science. She is currently the STEM Coach for Powhatan County Public Schools.
“Each of these teachers has demonstrated excellence in professional practice and high levels of student engagement in their respective disciplines,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples said in a Virginia Department of Education press release.
The application process requires nominees to provide evidence of deep content knowledge and exemplary pedagogical skills and focuses on the following five dimensions of teaching:
- Mastery of mathematics or science content appropriate for the grade level taught;
- Use of instructional methods and strategies that are appropriate for students in the class and support student learning;
- Effective use of assessments to evaluate, monitor and improve student learning;
- Reflective practice and life-long learning to improve teaching and student learning; and
- Leadership in education outside the classroom.
Adcock will receive a $10,000 unrestricted award from the National Science Foundation, a presidential certificate, and a trip to the nation’s capital later this year for a series of recognition events and professional development activities.
The National Science Foundation, on behalf of the White House, administers the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching program. Each year, the award alternates between teachers in grades K-6 and grades 7-12.