Getorix books by Judith Geary

Awards and honors for Sandra K. Horton

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Being a Participant in Education

                If you want to teach, you must also want to learn. The world is full of constant change. Facts are no longer set in granite, perspectives can constantly change understandings, and technology becomes antiquated almost as soon as it is introduced. The person who knows all the answers is the person who needs to find new questions. Experience, continuing education, training in new technologies and communication skills are all vital resources to the teacher. Involvement in educational challenges and experiences has always been a part of my career. The knowledge and expertise I have attained broadens my ideas and sharpens my abilities. Only in being a student and participant in educational activities can one know what a student experiences, and the realization of what my students go through in the educational process has been invaluable to me. This fact makes continuing education serve a dual purpose for me as an educator.

            I feel it is important to be involved in a community of learners. I have been both participant and presenter of various workshops relating to gifted education, language arts, technology, learning styles, law-related education, and teacher training throughout the county and region. This community is only strengthened when teachers share the excitement of learning. Insights and great ideas become more powerful when shared. As an active member of my school’s PTA and Alpha Delta Kappa International Honorary Sorority for Women Educators, I have the opportunity to go beyond my area school to help and make a difference in the greater community. My students have also spread their wings beyond the classroom by participating and winning awards in various educational activities such as Future Problem Solving (FPS), Olympics of the Mind, Goldmind Games, and numerous writing contests. For seven years, my  fellow language arts teacher and I have had the honor to accompany seven different  groups of students, all first place winners at the FPS State Bowl, to the FPS International Competitions in Georgia, Connecticut, Kentucky, and Colorado. This only proves that one must be a participant in learning to fully enjoy its benefits. “You have only failed when you have failed to try” is a philosophy I wish to share with each of my students. 

District/Division Honors:

         Developer and implementer of Center Based Gifted education at elementary and middle school level in CCPS, 1987/1994

         Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, 1996 &1999

         Presidential Citation as Outstanding Educator, Governor’s School for the Humanities, 1999

         State Representative (1993) of the LEGACY Institute Center for Research and Development in Law-Related Education (CRADLE)

         Nominee (1993) and finalist (1988 and 1989) for the R E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence

         Creator and implementer of Chesterfield County Goldmind Games for Elementary Students, 1986-87

         Teacher of the Year at Salem Church Elementary, Chesterfield County, 1987

         Outstanding Scholarship Recognition, VCU, 1978-80

Other Professional Activities:

         Mary Baldwin College instructor for Master of Arts in Teaching: EDU 605 Integrated Approach to Language Arts, 1999-2002

         Presenter at TECHfest 2000 and participant in Summer Technology Camp with Chesterfield County Public Schools (CCPS), 1997

         Presenter at the Seventh and Eighth Virginia conferences on gifted education (VAEG), 1998 and 1999

         Presenter at the Second Annual Curriculum Network Conference, Williamsburg, VA, March 1997

         Participant in the NAGC Task Force on the Interface Between Gifted Education and General Education, 1995

         Johns Hopkins University instructor, Center for Talented Youth (CTY) Young Students Richmond Humanities Program, 1993-94

         Presenter of Differentiated Instruction for the Town of West Point Public Schools, 1994

         Gifted education coordinator, 1984-94

         Member of Learning Standards for Language Arts Committee for CCPS, 1992-93

         Developer of Gifted Curriculum Guide for CCPS, Grades K-12, 1991

         Curriculum developer and presenter for Team Approach to Literacy and Learning, grades 3-5

         Curriculum writer for “Using Literature to Model the Writer’s Craft in Grades 3-6,” 1992

         Member of Language Arts and Literacy Portfolio Assessment Committees for CCPS, 1990-91

         Member of Editing Skills Framework Committee, Grades 1-12, CCPS, 1990

         Sponsor and developer of literary magazine for grades JK-5, 1988-92 and grades 6-8, 1994

         Presenter for “Educating the Gifted in the ‘90’s” (1991); the VAEG Conference; and Chesterfield County’s VIP Workshop, 1989

         Member of Gifted Education Planning Committee, CCPS Staff Development, 1990

         Trainer for TEACHING EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE in Chesterfield County, 1985-86; TNT colleague teacher, 1990-92

Continuing Education

         Member of Virginia Historical Society’s Fall Teacher Institute, 1995 and Southside Virginia Writing Project Summer Institute, 1989

         Participant in “Differentiated Curriculum for Gifted Learners,” Dr. Jim Curry and Dr. VanTassel-Baska, summer 1991

         Participant in various workshops such as VCU/NEA faculty partners Interdisciplinary Video course; workshops by Dr. Sandy Kaplan and Dr. Jim Curry; Virginia Reading to Learn Project, an educational focus on the “at-risk” student, 1989; etc.