by Kate Evans
Pleasant View Elementary fourth grade teacher Summer McClintock was chosen as the Morgan County Schools Teacher of the Year at a June 5 school board meeting awards ceremony.
McClintock is finishing her twelfth year of teaching fourth grade at Pleasant View Elementary.
McClintock received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education for multi-subject K-6 from Shepherd University in 2004 and her Master of Arts Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Shepherd University in 2009.
McClintock was awarded her National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification in Literacy for Reading/Language Arts in Early and Middle Childhood in December. The National Board Certification is considered the gold standard advanced credential for educators.
McClintock was honored as a Morgan County Distinguished Educator last year and is currently nominated for the Presidential Award of Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. She also received the Mary Linn Fox Award her first year of teaching and is a member of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society, which promotes excellence in women in education.
What drew her to teaching
McClintock said what influenced her to become a teacher was her own struggles in school. She didn’t like reading then, but later came to love reading when she found the right book. McClintock said she’s always loved learning and thought it would be great to help others to become life-long learners and lovers of reading. She is committed to finding the most effective ways to help all students learn.
Her philosophy of teaching
McClintock said she likes to keep instruction engaging for her students through hands-on cooperative learning and teaching problem-solving skills and “all skills that students will need later on to be successful.”
One of the main things McClintock tries to teach students is critical and creative thinking so they will question and wonder about things. She also fosters a growth mind set where kids are encouraged to try new things and not be afraid of challenges so they understand it’s okay to make mistakes as part of the process.
“That’s how we learn,” she said.
Class, school activities
McClintock has written numerous grants to support STEM and reading initiatives. She purchased an incubator, books and eggs so kids could watch baby chicks hatch. They had 22 hatchlings as of Friday.
McClintock also got copies of the book “Wonder” for third through fifth graders. Kids explored themes such as kindness, empathy and wonder, compared and contrasted the book and movie which they saw at the Star Theater and created a bulletin board pledging kindness and showing acts of kindness. The project integrated art, writing, music and reading.
Last year McClintock taught social studies lessons, math concepts and reading through art works. She took her fourth grade class to the National Art Museum and they worked with the docents all year to learn about art works depicting different historical periods. McClintock said it was her favorite year of teaching.
Every year McClintock’s fourth graders create a class book together. Thus year the theme was “Words of Wisdom” where each student wrote their own inspirational quotes. They printed the book with a publisher.
McClintock organized the school’s first annual Reading Fair where students chose their favorite book, made a storyboard of its narrative elements, characters and settings and why the book was special to them. They also had special reading activities.
McClintock has been co-coordinator for the county Science Fair and Math Field Day and the Pleasant View summer Camp MoCo program site coordinator/teacher for three years. She has served as a Social Studies Fair judge, school technology coordinator, after-school math tutor and on math textbook committees and in other leadership roles.
McClintock is the Pleasant View intermediate team leader, the school’s faculty senate vice-president and their Student Literacy Council advisor. She’s also involved in a book club with other teachers where they read professional development books and children’s stories and discuss them.
McClintock said she loves to read and her favorite books are memoirs and children’s literature. She’s excited about attending the Shenandoah University Children’s Literature Conference at the end of June. McClintock attributed her love of reading to former Pleasant View Title I reading teacher Margaret Hill, with whom she co-taught reading.
“She knows how to lead you to the right books. A lot of projects I’ve done over the years have come from brainstorming with her,” McClintock said.
Other interests are anything that involves her daughter, who is in kindergarten.
“She keeps me busy,” she said.
McClintock said she was honored and very appreciative to receive the Teacher of the Year award and be able to come back to her community to teach. She noted that at Pleasant View Elementary teachers are a team and work together and that a lot of county teachers go above and beyond putting in many extra hours and spending their own money on supplies. McClintock felt that many teachers were deserving of the award.
Pleasant View Elementary Principal Keri Cunningham Chilcote said that McClintock is a lifelong learner and a natural-born teacher. Everything McClintock was doing in her classroom was of the high caliber of a National Board Certified Teacher when Chilcote first met her and she encouraged McClintock to pursue the national certification.
“She is the best of the best,” Chilcote said of McClintock’s teaching expertise.