May 3, 2001
National Teacher of the Year
Michele Forman to receive honorary degree at Middlebury College
MIDDLEBURY, Vt.--Michele Forman, the
2001 National Teacher of the Year and a social studies teacher at
Middlebury Union High School (MUHS), will receive an honorary Doctor
of Education degree at Middlebury College's graduation ceremony on
Sunday, May 27. Seven other distinguished individuals, including the
commencement speaker Fred Rogers, creator and host of the PBS
children's television show "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," will also
receive honorary degrees.
Forman was named National Teacher of
the Year on April 23 when she was recognized by President Bush at a
White House ceremony. She is the first Vermont educator to receive
this honor from the Council of Chief State School Officers and
Scholastic Inc., the sponsors of the program. Initially chosen as
Teacher of the Year for the state of Vermont, Forman went on to
become one of four state finalists before being named the 51st
National Teacher of the Year.
"Michele Forman has the respect and
admiration of her students, their parents, and her many colleagues
and friends, and now she has the respect of the nation as well. Those
of us at Middlebury College can only be inspired by her creativity,
her dedication to life-long learning, and her high expectations for
all her students regardless of their ability level," said John M.
McCardell, Jr., president of Middlebury College.
Forman studied Arabic for three
consecutive summers from 1997-1999 at the Middlebury College Language
Schools. Four years ago, she began teaching an Arabic course at MUHS
that met before school. Twenty students are currently enrolled in the
class, which has become an institution at the school. Forman is also
committed to extracurricular activities, advising the Student
Coalition on Human Rights, which she and a group of students started
12 years ago, and the school's model United Nations. She has taught
at MUHS for 15 years.
"The scholarship funds that I
received from the Middlebury College Arabic Language School each year
I attended were a great gift to me, my students and the community. I
wouldn't have been able to reach my current advanced level of Arabic
without the College. Also, almost every year since I've been teaching
at MUHS, I have had students from the College's teacher education
program as well as numerous interns from the College in my classroom.
Their presence has greatly enriched the education of my students.
These are just two ways that the College has been very supportive of
the high school," said Forman.
She holds a bachelor's degree in
history from Brandeis University and a master's degree in teaching
from the University of Vermont. She has 60 graduate credits beyond
her master's and regularly serves on state and national committees in
her field. Forman has also served as a Peace Corps volunteer and an
alcohol and drug education curriculum specialist for the Vermont
Department of Education.