2006-06-23 / Education

RNE teacher wins national award

Contributed by Richland School District Two

Contributed byRichland SchoolDistrict Two

RNE's Perry McLeod discusses a history assignment with two of his students. RNE's Perry McLeod discusses a history assignment with two of his students.

Perry McLeod, a social studies teacher at Richland Northeast High School, is one of 20 teachers nationwide to win a 2006 National Teacher Award from Time Warner Cable. Time Warner presents the award annually to teachers who are exemplary in bringing enrichment and innovation to the classroom. McLeod's winning project, "Our Local Greatest Generation - An Oral History of Veterans from the WWII era through the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan," used digital video technology to record interviews with men and women who participated in these events.

"Being selected as a national winner means I was competing against teachers from around the country," said McLeod, the only teacher in South Carolina to win this year. "The best part of this award is that it recognizes the use of technology as well as how we are using it to pay tribute to the veterans from our community."

Besides research and classwork, McLeod's oral history students learn to use both digital video and video editing technology and develop interview skills. The award ceremony took place in Washington, DC, on June 6. "We use a lot of Internet and cable TV resources for our oral history projects, not only the Local Greatest Generation effort but also our work on the Civil Rights Era and the Holocaust," McLeod said.

The Time Warner Award is the latest in a series of honors that McLeod has been racking up. In the past year alone, he spent a month in Germany on a Fulbright and won another major honor when the South Carolina Veterans of Foreign Wars named him Teacher of the Year. He also was Richland Northeast's Teacher of the Year for 2005-06.

Photographs from the Local Greatest Generation project remain on display at the South Carolina State Museum, which had included videos and artifacts from the project in last year's World War II exhibit.

"Teachers like Perry are what make a school succeed," said Ralph Schmidt, principal of Richland Northeast. "His intellectual curiosity, energy, and enthusiasm for his subject fire up his classes and keep his students motivated. He takes a truly creative approach, bringing history alive by bringing in the people in our community who were part of critical events."

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