Friday, April 29, 2005

Two Marion County educators have been honored with Fairmont State University's Harry J. Hadley Award for Teaching Excellence.

Diana Kay Wells Arthur and Karen Elaine Phillips Whinnie were announced as winners of the award for exemplary teaching at the 28th annual Academic Awards Ceremony on Friday, April 15.

The award commemorates Harry J. Hadley, former Dean of the FSU School of Education, for his 30 years of dedication to teacher education by honoring two West Virginia public school teachers who are graduates of Fairmont State (preferably during Dean Hadley's tenure), and who exemplify Fairmont State's goal of producing "The Informed Decision Maker." One elementary school teacher and one secondary public school teacher are selected as award winners each year.

The award carries a cash prize of $500 for each winner, provided by the Fairmont State Foundation, Inc. A plaque is also awarded to each recipient, and a permanent plaque with all winners' names is kept in the School of Education office.

Fairmont State's undergraduate teacher preparation program has adopted the "Informed Decision Maker Model," with the aim of preparing teachers to make instructional decisions based upon a strong foundation of knowledge, skill and professional attitudes. With greatly expanded knowledge bases, materials and technology, teacher preparation programs must produce graduates able to make wise, informed choices from among a range of options in providing equitable access to education for the nation's children.

Arthur is a third-grade elementary educator at Fairview Elementary School. She is a 1979 graduate of Fairmont Senior High School. She graduated from Fairmont State in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education with a language arts specialization. She continued her education at West Virginia University, where she earned a master's degree in education in special education (K-12). Arthur continues to take courses in the areas of mathematics and technology. She has written and received several grants for improving educational opportunities for the children whom she serves. She has presented staff development seminars at the school, county and state levels. She has served on many school committees, as well as county and state committees. She has also received honors including the Presidential Award in Elementary Mathematics and a fellowship at FSU as a professor in the School of Education. She and her husband, Keith, reside in Fairview.

Whinnie has been a classroom instructor at East Fairmont High School since 1963. She is a secondary English and biology educator with extensive training in the writing process and standardized test assessment preparation. She currently teaches Honors English 10 and English 10 at EFHS. She has been an English instructor with Marion County Summer School since 1988 and has been an adjunct English instructor for Fairmont State since the late 1970s. Whinnie earned a Master of Arts degree in secondary education from West Virginia University and has earned 45 hours of post graduate professional development. A graduate of EFHS, she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in biological science and English from Fairmont State.