EHS teacher to receive Distinguished Teaching Award

By Bob Robinson


   Gary W. Barrigar, who teaches chemistry, physics and ecology at Elizabethton High School (EHS), has been named recipient of the 2001 Tennessee Academy of Sciences (TAS) Distinguished Science Teaching Award.
   The award is given annually to one science teacher in Tennessee who makes significant contributions to science education, according to Jack Rhoton, TAS president-elect and chair of the Awards Committee.
   Barrigar, chair of the EHS science department, is scheduled to receive the award Nov. 9 at a joint meeting of Tennessee and Kentucky Academies of Science at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU).
   Dr. Judy Blevins, director of Elizabethton City Schools, said Barrigar is deserving of the award presented by his peers in Tennessee.
   "The Elizabethton School System is proud to have Gary as a member of the teaching staff. He continues to receive award after award. This latest award exemplifies his leadership qualities both in and out of the classroom," Dr. Blevins said.
   Rhoton said "Gary has made contributions to science education at local and state levels. He has been instrumental in planning and implementing innovative and exemplary science programs in his school and school district.
   "Gary has involved his students in extensive studies and analyses of the water quality in the region's streams. Each year, he conducts a system-wide environmental education course for secondary school students and has been instrumental in planning and writing the Tennessee Science Standards for high school courses," Rhoton added.
   Barrigar has held numerous leadership positions in science organizations. He served as the Upper East Tennessee Director of the Science League and Director of the Roan Mountain Fall Naturalists Rally. He received a grant for a summer institute at the University of California at Berkeley which allowed him to prepare curriculum materials for Global System Science, a new approach to environmental education.
   A past recipient of the Tennessee Department of Conservation's Gold Star Excellence Award, Barrigar was also named Teacher of the Year for the TVA Student Water Quality Monitoring Network; Elizabethton City Teacher-of-the-Year and District Teacher-of-the-Year; Conservation Educator-of-the-Year by the Tennessee Conservation League; East Tennessee Regional Teacher-of-the-Year by the Tennessee Environmental Education Association; and Carter County Teacher-of-the-Year.
   Barrigar received a B.S. degree from the University of Tennessee, a master's in science teaching from Florida Atlantic University and has completed additional graduate work at the University of California at Berkeley and East Tennessee State University.