Being chosen for the Presidential Award means that I am on the correct path. It’s the affirmation that what I ask myself each day, “How can I be better tomorrow? What can I learn from this mistake? How can I get my students to want to grow up and become scientists, mathematicians, or engineers?” is making an impact. It means my course corrections along the way are valid. I will have the courage to continue to grow and improve along the way.

Cathleen Drake-McGarvey Danville, VA | K-6, Science, 2020

The official biography below was current at the time of the award.

Cathleen Drake-McGarvey has been an educator for over 23 years and has spent the last 11 years teaching fifth grade science at Stony Mill Elementary School. She previously taught kindergarten and second grade for five years. She also taught at Chatham Elementary School for five years and at North Elementary School for her first year as a teacher. Before that, she served as a substitute teacher. As the Science Liaison, Cathleen delivers department communication and mentors other science teachers in addition to teaching four science classes each day. Cathleen works to advance computer science concepts and an engineering mindset in her classroom by providing students with opportunities to problem solve. Students also practice citizen science by monitoring a trail of bluebird nest boxes and by recycling paper, plastic, and composting plant waste throughout the year. Cathleen has served as a Summer Session Piedmont Regional Governor's School Instructor for Children's Engineering and worked on the Virginia School University Partnership (VSUP) to develop grade test bank items and performance task bank items. Cathleen earned a B.S. in elementary education from SUNY College at Old Westbury. She is certified in pre-kindergarten through third grade Early/Primary Education and third through sixth grade Elementary.

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