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Two WVEA members, educators earn national math and science award

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By WVEA Communications Staff

Two West Virginia Education Association members and educators were recognized by the state Board of Education Wednesday after each received a national math and science teaching award.

Barbara "Tootie" Black, the teaching principal at Hometown Elementary in Red House, and Gabrielle Rhodes, a teacher at Union Elementary School in Buckhannon, received Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching late last year.

State school board members congratulated both educators early during their meeting in Charleston.

Rhodes said Wednesday that when growing up, she'd interviewed for a chance to go to Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala. She told the interviewer that science was her least favorite subject and that she was trying to figure out why other people loved science, and why it was their favorite. 

Impressed by her honest answer, she was chosen to attend Space Camp, an experience that she credits with fostering her love for science.

Black, who has also earned a Milken Educator Award and several other recognitions, is the new teaching principal at Hometown Elementary in Putnam County. She spent many years as a teacher at West Teays Elementary. Black told the state board members, "My goal is to make my school a science-based school."

WVEA is proud of these two educators.