Ruth Hart Jessee Strange Award

This award is to be given annually in memory of my mother, Ruth Hart Jessee Strange. Mother was born and raised just outside of Kansas City in and around Liberty, Missouri. She was graduated from William Jewell College in 1927. She taught school in several Missouri communities and later became the secretary to the President of Kansas City Power and Light Company. After raising me and my sister, Catharine Hart Strange Stewart of Indianapolis, Indiana, Mother returned to work as Special Assistant to Dr. J. Willis Hurst, then Chair of the Department of Medicine at Emory University and the cardiologist of President Lyndon Johnson. Mother was the recipient of the William Jewell College Citation of Achievement, the highest award bestowed on an alumnus by William Jewell, in 1970. Her brother, Randall Smith Jessee had received the same award in 1956 and her sister, Mary Margaret Jessee Mayfield had received the award in 1948. Not many families have an entire generation who have received such awards from their alma mater!

The Hadley Harrington Strange Award

This award is to be given annually in memory of my father, Hadley Harrington Strange. My father did not graduate from college, nor even high school. The depression of the thirties! He worked in a tobacco factory instead of finishing high school. He had a job! It did not pay much, but it helped a bit in keeping food on the table. Later he was a "Reveneur," chasing moonshiners through the mountains of Kentucky and Tennessee. He then ran a filling station and garage in Newport, Tennessee. At my mother's insistence, so that my sister and I could go to "good" high schools, my father went back to work for the Internal Revenue Service, later becoming head of the Inspection Service for the southeastern region of the United States. He was a phenomenal story teller and teacher. Bridge, poker, fishing, marksmanship, detective work, solving riddles and puzzles were the primary subjects that he taught. He loved learning, and loved sharing that enthusiasm will everyone he encountered. Beginners welcome. And experts too!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hadley Harrington Strange Award for 2009

The Hadley Harrington Strange Award for 2009 is awarded jointly to Mr. Jarrod Lamshed of Adelaid, Australia and Mr. Joe McClung of Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Mr. Lamshed teaches Levels 5/6 at the Hackham East Schools in Adlelaide, South Australia, Australia.

Mr. McClung teaches 8th grade at the Woodland Junior High School, Fayetteville, Arkansas, United States of America.

These two teachers are on opposite sides of the globe and on opposite ends of the globe. But through their creative collaboration that includes the use of blogs, interactive video, audio chats on Skype, Twitter, and other technologies, you might think they had classrooms next to each other. Which, in many ways, they do.

Influenced, inspired and encouraged by Mr. William Chamberlain, winner of the 2009 Ruth Hart Jessee Strange Award, Mr. Lamshed and Mr. McClung have carried out a true collaborative educational effort throughout 2009.

Both are avid Twitters (@jlamshed and @jkmcclung). Following their tweets is an exciting education in itself!

Both contribute regularly to At The Teacher's Desk, the best collaborative blogs by teachers that I have found. If you are interested in education but not a regular reader of At The Teacher's Desk, I urge you to read it regularly. I have now made it required reading for all the students in the College of Education at the University of South Alabama where I teach.

Both are "Reflective Practitioners" (see Donald Schoen's book The Reflective Practitioner). I urge you to read their reflective posts, especially Mr. McClung's What I've Learned This Year and Mr. Lamshed's Being Inspired - Part 1 and Finding the Passion.

Both are avid learners, always learning new things and putting them to work. What fantastic role models for students they are: to have learners as your teachers is wonderful!

My father would have loved to have known them, and would have enjoyed their company I am sure.

A cash award of $ 250 has been sent to the Hackham East Schools for Mr. Lamshed to use as he sees fit in the furtherance of his teaching profession.

A cash award of $ 250 has been sent to the Woodland Junior High School for Mr. McClung to use as he sees fit in the furtherance of his teaching profession.