Virginia educator Philip Bigler has been named the 1998 National Teacher of the Year. Mr. Bigler, a history teacher at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va., has passed on his love of history to his students for nearly 20 years.
Mr. Bigler uses historical simulations as the basis for his courses. In world history, his students become members of a Greek polis to debate the issues of the day. In American history, students argue the intricacies of constitutional law before a mock Supreme Court.
"I have always seen my role as a teacher to facilitate student learning in what will be a lifelong quest for knowledge," Mr. Bigler said.
Mr. Bigler was named the 1998 Virginia State Teacher of the Year and the Fairfax County (Va.) Teacher of the Year in 1997.
He has written several books, including In Honor and Glory, Arlington National Cemetery, the Final Post and Hostile Fire: The Life and Death of Lt. Sharon Ann Lane.
Mr. Bigler was scheduled to be honored at a White House ceremony April 24, along with the other 1998 State Teachers of the Year.
This marks the second time a Virginia educator has been named Teacher of the Year. Mary V. Bicouvaris was honored in 1989.
The Teacher of the Year program is sponsored by the Washington-based Council of Chief State School Officers and Scholastic Inc. of New York City.
The National Education Association honored Carter Foshee, a public school electrician from Broken Bow, Okla., last week as the union's outstanding educational-support-personnel member for 1998.
In making the award, the union said Mr. Foshee has helped school support workers gain opportunities to participate in decisionmaking that affects their own rights as employees and promotes the welfare of students.
Mr. Foshee worked as the chief negotiator on his local union's contract and organized communities in Oklahoma to reject private services that union members argued were better provided by school employees.
He has served as the president of the Edmond, Okla., NEA local for educational support personnel and is a member of the Oklahoma Education Association's board of directors.
Mr. Foshee received a cash award of $10,000.
--ADRIENNE D. COLES email@example.com