Teachers of the Year for 2001

Kirksville Chapter of Sigma Xi

News Release:  November 15, 2001

Fouch and Theobald Named "Teachers of the Year"

Janie Fouch and Janie Theobald have been named "Teachers of the Year" for the year 2001 by the Kirksville Chapter of Sigma Xi.  Mrs. Fouch, who is the Director of the Faith Lutheran School in Kirksville, Missouri, was named Outstanding Elementary School Teacher.  Mrs. Theobald, Principal of Mary Immaculate School in Kirksville, was named Outstanding Secondary School Math/Science Teacher.  These awards are given annually by the Kirksville Chapter of Sigma Xi to recognize outstanding math and science teachers in Northeastern Missouri.  In announcing these awards, William Sexton, Ph.D., chairperson of the selection committee and past President of Sigma Xi said, "Janie Theobald and Janie Fouch represent the best of our teachers.  They take the extra steps to teach their students how to learn and they provide quality learning experiences that are unparalleled."

For the past 15 years, Fouch has served as the lead teacher in the preschool and kindergarten program at Faith Lutheran School.  Prior to working at the Faith Lutheran School, Fouch taught science at the Kirksville Junior High School, and science and language arts at the High School and Junior High School in Brashear, Missouri.  She is known for using a "hands-on" approach to stimulate her students' curiosity in the world around them.  She has engaged her students by having them care for a number of live animals, including a lamb which the students raised for its first six weeks of life. Her students learn about growth and development by caring for bird eggs until the chicks hatched out, and by watching caterpillars develop into butterflies.  Counting skills are developed by counting the number of spots on the backs of ladybugs, and using straws to mark each school day and then counting the straws at the beginning of each day.  By integrating math and science throughout the day, Fouch instills in her children an enthusiasm for observation, discovery, and problem solving.

Theobald has taught 7th and 8th grade science at Mary Immaculate School for the past 19 years, and has been Principal of Mary Immaculate School since 1988.  Theobald was instrumental in developing a Science Olympiad program at Mary Immaculate, and her teams have competed at the state level.  She played an important role in having Mary Immaculate being named the Northeast Missouri coordinator for the National Science Foundation's "Hands On Science Outreach" program.  Most importantly, Theobald brings to her classroom a zest and enthusiasm for science which she has transmitted to her students.  In describing Mrs. Theobald, one of her co-workers commented, "She has spent the past twenty years encouraging students to take risks, create a mess, observe with a keen eye, collect and record data, consult and collaborate with fellow students, and last but not least, enjoy the whole process."

Sigma Xi is a national honor society for science and engineering, dedicated to promoting scientific enterprise and honoring scientific achievements.  The Kirksville Chapter was founded in 1989 and is comprised principally of faculty and students from Truman State University and Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine.  The Teacher of the Year awards are made as part of the Kirksville Chapter's efforts to promote science in Northeast Missouri.  "Early exposure to modern science and math principles from enthusiastic teachers is critical to developing our young people as we move into the 21st century," noted Sexton.  In addition to recognizing outstanding teachers, the Kirksville Chapter of Sigma Xi also arranges for its members to assist local science teachers by bringing talks, demonstrations, and small-scale experiments into the classroom.

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Created:  February 23, 2002.  Last update:  February 23, 2002

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