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Greencastle teacher wins award from Wal-Mart

November 14, 2008|By CHRIS CARTER

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - "The recipient is a third-grade teacher who has been teaching at Greencastle-Antrim for four years."

Not until those words were mentioned at an October assembly did Sarah Foose have even the slightest clue that she was going to be named a Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year.

"We found out that there was a special award going out to a teacher and they started describing the person. After a few minutes, I finally put two and two together," Foose said. "I was in complete shock - it's such a wonderful surprise. It's one of those awards that makes you want to take your teaching career so much further."

Foose was recognized by the Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Williamsport, Md., during a Character Counts! assembly on Oct. 17. She received a $100 gift card, an award certificate, balloons and flowers.

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She said she has yet to use the gift card, but the suggestions keep rolling in.

"My students have lots of plans," Foose joked. "Big ideas - the kinds of things that $100 can't even buy."

Foose received the award after being nominated by a former student. Jordyn Tosten - now a Greencastle-Antrim fifth-grader - nominated Foose because of how much she enjoyed the integration of technology in the classroom, something that Foose has become very passionate about.

"Every day that you walk in the classroom the students are giving you surprises and rewards that keep you going and make you want to come back the next day," Foose said. "I've never received an award like this, but it just verifies everything I thought I was doing right, I was doing right."

Foose, 27, joined Greencastle-Antrim Elementary School after student teaching at the school before graduation. She received her master's degree two years ago and is pursuing her doctorate.

The elementary school received a $1,000 grant, which Foose hopes will be put forth to even more technology in the classroom.

Foose's classroom is equipped with eight Internet-accessible computers allowing students to practice new media like Web design, moviemaking and PowerPoint presentations.

"We take a story and put visual effects to it to better present in the classroom," Foose said. "It encourages students to spend more time to perfect their work. Technology is just the motivator."

Wal-Mart began the Teacher of the Year awards in 1995 and has since contributed nearly $30 million to public schools across the United States.

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