Meet the 2013 National Teacher Hall of Fame Inductees

On June 14th, five teachers hailing from Maryland, Missouri, Texas and Oklahoma will be inducted into the National Teacher Hall of Fame (NTHF). These members of the Class of 2013 were guests at the Department of Education on Friday, where they met with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to discuss educational

From left: NEA president Dennis Van Roekel, National Teachers Hall of Fame inductees Rebecca Gault, Deborah Cornelison, Darryl Johnson, Martha McLeod, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, National Teachers Hall of Fame inductee Beth Vernon, and National Teachers Hall of Fame executive director Carol Strickland.

issues they face in their schools. Following the meeting they were honored at the National Education Association headquarters in Washington D.C. where they met again with Duncan and NEA President Dennis Van Roekel.

“Each year, the National Teacher Hall of Fame honors five individuals from more than 7 million great teachers in the U.S.,” said Van Roekel. “Those selected are exceptional career teachers who demonstrate excellence in teaching. They have made student learning their top priority by finding creative and effective ways to engage their students. Congratulations and thank you to all of those recognized by the Teacher Hall of Fame.”

Meet the 2013 inductees:

A physical science teacher at Byng Junior High in Oklahoma since 1987, Deborah Cornelison enjoys teaching the fundamental concepts of physics and chemistry as well as science research. Now in her 26th year of teaching her passion for profession still burns strong.  Prior to her position at Byng, Deborah was an East Central University adjunct instructor of biology and physical science and taught science in the ECU Upward Bound Programs. She holds a B.S. and M.Ed from ECU as well as a National Board Certification in Adolescent and Young Adulthood Science.

Darryl Johnson teaches 10th-12th grade English/Language Arts at Smithville High School in Missouri. A native of Port Washington Wisconsin, Johnson earned a B.S. Ed and an M.S. Ed in English from Northwest Missouri State University and was awarded the Missouri Teacher of the Year in 2007. With 21 years of teaching experience he currently teaches Communication Arts II, British Literature and Film as Literature.

Martha McLeod is a 5th grade science lab instructor at Fulton 4-5 Learning Center in Rockport Texas. Growing up she was instilled with a hard work ethic and an appreciation and respect for the natural world. She received a B.S. in Animal Science from Texas A&M and received her teacher certification and biology specialization from West Texas State University and has been teaching in Aransas County ISD for 20 years. As an educator she believes her job is to instill a love and understanding of the world in her students and believes that students learn best when they can see, taste, touch, hear, and smell the scientific concepts that she teaches. An advocate of the outdoors, McLeod always tries to link the knowledge we are learning to each student’s own life and make it applicable to them. from a hands-on approach.

Beth Vernon is an 8th grade Earth and space science teacher at Brittany Hill Middle School in Blue Springs, Missouri. Last week, her school surprised her with the news that she had been inducted at an all-school assembly tat she thought had been called to unveil pictures of the new school. Known as “the singing science teacher,” Vernon has been teaching for almost 30 years. She was a Disney American Teacher Award winner in 2000 and was also selected for the Missouri STARR Teacher program, an extensive master teacher development program.

Rebecca Gault, a 6th grade language arts teacher from Bel Air Middle School in Bel Air, Maryland, has been teaching for 22 years. In Gault’s nomination video, Bel Air Middle principal Sean Abel said Gault performs “magic in the classroom.” One of her most significant contributions to her school is a job-embedded professional development program which she created collaboratively with three other colleagues. A published author, Gault has written eight books on topics related to literacy for K-12 educators.