The Virginia Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (VACTE), whose purpose is to stimulate improvement in the preparation of teachers and other educational personnel in the Commonwealth of Virginia, has selected Sarah Ridgway for the 2010 VACTE Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to students in a teacher preparation program in the state of Virginia who have demonstrated academic excellence in coursework and have distinguished themselves in the K-12 classroom.
Ms. Ridgway is a senior at the College of William and Mary and is completing the teacher education program in elementary education. Dr. Leslie W. Grant, Ms. Ridgway's university supervisor said, "As I have come to know Ms. Ridgway and have had the privilege of observing her in the classroom, I am certain that Ms. Ridgway embodies the expectations that the VACTE has set for excellence in a teacher preparation program. Ms. Ridgway is the utmost professional in her work and she demonstrated her abilities to be a highly effective educator. In a course on classroom-based assessment, she demonstrated her abilities to apply theoretical concepts of validity and reliability in the creation of classroom-based assessments. She quickly emerged as a leader in the class, continually reflecting on the implementation of formative and summative assessments and ensuring that validity and reliability were addressed in the development and use in the classroom. Ms. Ridgway sought ways to ensure that the developmental needs of her students were addressed in the creation of assessments and uses of assessment data. Students were always at the center of Ms. Ridgway's decision-making processes.
During student teaching, Ms. Ridgway's positive impact on the lives of her students was evident. During a lesson I observed, Ms. Ridgway was explaining to the children how to make a pennant with symbols for what mattered most to them. Like good teachers do, Ms. Ridgway modeled the making of the pennant by drawing things she likes to do. When thinking about what to add to her pennant, one student piped up, "You like teaching!" What a testament to Ms. Ridgway's relationship with her student and her enthusiasm for the profession. She developed a positive learning environment in which students prospered."
Ms. Ridgway's journey into teaching began before she entered the teacher preparation program. She began tutoring young children in high school and has continued community involvement today. After graduation, Ms. Ridgway plans to seek employment in the state of Virginia.
Ms. Ridgway said, "I look forward to having my own classroom where I can continue to grow and become a better teacher every day as I learn from my students and my colleagues. It is my duty to always be learning and to keep up with the latest teaching techniques and practices so I can provide my students the very best educational experiences."