2009 Teacher Recognition

General information
Alabama ACCESS Distance Learning: High-Quality Online Teacher
Sharon Johnson
Hollytree, Alabama
Sharon Johnson is a National Board Certified mathematics teacher. In her position with ACCESS, Sharon has taught a variety of mathematics courses, including Algebra I, Algebra II, Algebra II with trigonometry, and pre-calculus. Johnson is recognized for her ability to communicate effectively with her students, to explain mathematical concepts, and to engage and motivate students through the use of a variety of technologies and instructional methodologies. She also shares her expertise with other ACCESS teachers through regional support center training sessions.

Arkansas Virtual High School: High-Quality Online Teacher

Debby Smyth
Mulberry, Arkansas
Debby Smyth graduated from Miami University (Ohio) with majors in Spanish and Elementary Education. She taught fifth grade in Ohio for several years before moving to Arkansas, where she has taught Spanish I, II and III in grades nine through 12. For the past two years, she has taught Spanish full-time at varying levels for the Arkansas Virtual High School. Smyth is noted for finding ways to motivate, encourage, evaluate and facilitate learning for students in the virtual environment. Florida Virtual School: High-Quality Online Teacher
Cindy Knoblauch
Havana, Florida
Cindy Knoblauch is one of those educators her peers aspire to emulate. She is known at Florida Virtual School for always dreaming a size too big and then inspiring her students and fellow educators to grow into those dreams. She consistently represents excellence in both customer service and innovation. Whether working one-on-one with one of her middle grades language arts students or in collaboration with colleagues on a venture to change the way thousands of students learn, Knoblauch is helping to transform education. Georgia Virtual School: High-Quality Online Teacher
Beth Wilson
Social Studies
Alpharetta, Georgia
Beth Wilson has worked with Georgia Virtual School since 2005. She has served as a developer, course reviewer and teacher for the social studies department. In her current position as a half-time instructor, Wilson motivates her students by embracing the wide variety of instructional tools available to today’s teachers. Her enthusiasm for supporting student achievement is evidenced by her participation in school activities ranging from open houses to professional learning sessions. Through her dedication, Georgia students are gaining new opportunities to succeed in today’s world. Kentucky Virtual High School: High-Quality Online Teacher
Tresine Logsdon
Oceanography and AP Environmental Science
Lexington, Kentucky
Tresine Logsdon has taught oceanography and Advanced Placement (AP) environmental science in Kentucky Virtual Schools since 2006, with an extremely high student success rate. She is the science subject-matter expert, facilitates online professional development with e-Learning KY, and facilitates SREB’s online forum for science teachers. With her face-to-face biology classes at Henry Clay High School in Lexington, she utilizes a hybrid model using the Blackboard platform, in cooperation with Kentucky Virtual Schools. She reports that, “My hybrid classes allow me to combine the best in online and traditional instruction. I am passionate about sharing with as many teachers as I can the endless possibilities that lie with hybrid learning.” Louisiana Virtual School: High-Quality Online Teacher
Begona Perez-Mira
Spanish I and II, Digital Graphics and Animation, and Web Mastering
Natchitoches, Louisiana
Begona Perez-Mira teaches the most popular and in-demand subjects that the LVS offers. She developed the LVS’ original Spanish curriculum and has coordinated the modification of the foreign language curriculum into its newest format. Perez-Mira also developed the Web Mastering and the Digital Graphics and Animations courses offered by the LVS. She has served as the point of contact for LVS instructors in Spanish and as the technical support person for instructors with issues or wishing to explore advanced course development techniques. Mississippi Virtual Public School: High-Quality Online Teacher
Erin Fortenberry
Anatomy & Physiology, Advanced Biology, and Health
Tylertown, Mississippi
Erin Fortenberry teaches Anatomy & Physiology, Advanced Biology, and Health at Mississippi Virtual Public School. She also teaches anatomy and physiology, advanced biology and health at North Pike High School in Summit, Mississippi. Fortenberry’s peer team summed her up as “an enthusiastic online teacher. Her love and enthusiasm for distance learning is unmatched by most. She is a natural in this environment. Her willingness to share with her peers as well as her willingness to admit when she needs help shows her genuine desire for what is best for the student.” North Carolina Virtual Public School: High-Quality Online Teacher
Mike Shumake
English IV
Raleigh, North Carolina
Mike Shumake is an English IV teacher who believes that if a student fails, then he has failed. As a result, 94 percent of his students recently passed his course. Shumake’s leadership extends beyond the classroom: When NCVPS leaders realized there was a glitch in the grade center, he created a pod cast for teachers explaining how to correct it. Shumake seeks opportunities for his students to collaborate globally, including inviting students in Puerto Rico to join his course for two modules on speeches. This was a hit with the students, especially during the presidential debates. South Carolina Virtual School: High-Quality Online Teacher
Tasha Christmas
Pickens, South Carolina
Tasha Christmas has 12 years of experience in the classroom and seven years as an online educator. Although working with students in an online environment is rewarding, challenging and fast-paced, she is up to the challenge. She teaches English 1-4 (college prep and Honors), SAT critical reading and SAT math. She is also the instructional team leader for all online teachers with the SCVS program. She enjoys her work helping students across the state of South Carolina. Tennessee (e4TN) Virtual School: High-Quality Online Teacher
Linda Yockey
Shelbyville, Tennessee
Linda Yockey is certified and highly qualified in all areas of science. Yockey has been a Bedford County educator for 29 years and has taught science online for three years, including: physical science, biology, earth science, chemistry, physics, and honors classes. Yockey is recognized for her ability to lead other teachers and to actively engage her students. She believes that technology will be a part of every student’s future, and she is quick to be a role model in the classroom, using any and all technology that becomes available. Before becoming an educator, Yockey served as supervisor of Microbiology at Baptist Hospital in Memphis and educational coordinator for Laboratory Services with the Public Health Department. She currently serves as a county commissioner for Bedford County and is a Board member of the Bedford County Planning Commission, Community Health Clinic, and Communications Center. She also serves as a director of the local Farm Bureau. Virtual Virginia School: High-Quality Online Teacher
Sarah Warnick
AP Spanish Language
Glen Allen, Virginia
Sarah Warnick is in her second year of virtual instruction and teaches AP Spanish language, Spanish IV, and survey of world languages and cultures – Spanish. Warnick also has served as a new teacher mentor and a content developer. She has been an early adopter of new online tools and has been active in conducting workshops for the staff. A representative student comment from her course survey was: “My instructor was wonderful. She did everything necessary to prepare us for the AP exam.” Warnick’s positive attitude and outreach efforts to students and schools make her an ideal online instructor. West Virginia Virtual School: High-Quality Online Teacher
Anna Megyesi
Milton, West Virginia
Anna Megyesi is a veteran Spanish teacher in her second year with the West Virginia Virtual School. She has degrees in Spanish and Anthropology and a master’s degree from the School for International Training. Megyesi has lived, worked and studied in Colombia, Spain and Brazil. She was selected for recognition in 2008-09 for her love of languages, passion for teaching, dedication to integrating technology and language teaching, and delivery of professional development at the national level. CCSSO & Florida Virtual School Virtual Magnet Initiative : High-Quality Online Teacher
Kimberly Cloran
Florida Virtual School
Kimberly Cloran is a National Board Certified Teacher in Science. In 2005, she began her virtual teaching career at Florida Virtual School after seven years in a traditional classroom teaching both math and physics. She views her role as that of a facilitator, coach and guide in a student-centered, online learning environment. Today with her customary passion and enthusiasm, Mrs. Cloran is teaching a novel physics course to students throughout the United States in a pioneering virtual magnet program for space science. CCSSO & Florida Virtual School Virtual Magnet Initiative : High-Quality Online Teacher
Alexander Garlen
Florida Virtual School
Alexander Garlen was a long-time theater technician and lighting designer before teaching Physics, Computer Science and Engineering in a traditional classroom. Today, his stage is the virtual classroom where he provides individual attention to his students’ individual needs. Mr. Garlen is currently pioneering a physics course in a virtual magnet program for space science available to students around the country. In his new assignment, Mr. Garlen demonstrates his customary flexibility by ensuring that students meet the different standards of their respective states.