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Gladden recognized as finalist

posted Dec 12, 2016, 8:37 AM by Cheryl Shuffler

Icard Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Andrea Gladden was among the education superstars the State Board of Education recognized on Dec. 1. Gladden is a 2016 NC Finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

                  The PAEMST is administered by the National Science Foundation on behalf of The White House. Finalists devote time to professional development, incorporate innovative approaches into classroom teaching and use technology in their classrooms. Gladden is one of three state finalists in the science category.

Gladden said she learned much about herself as an educator through the process of being nominated for the Presidential Award, which included her completing an administrative, narrative and video component. She also has made contacts and formed partnerships with educators across the country.

She said, “I believe that it is vital in today’s society for children to learn to become problem solvers at a young age. Problem solving is a skill that must be encouraged and nurtured so that it can grow over time. My students learn that in life we will experience failures, but it is how we recover from those failures that is most important.

Gladden also received recognition from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and the National Science Foundation in the Research Triangle Park on Nov. 30 where she presented a speech and was awarded a plaque and gifts. There she met current and previous awardees of the PAEMST award and supporters from NCDPI.  

This past year, Gladden was awarded her first Prism Grant funded by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.  She was awarded $2,000 for science equipment for her project entitled, "What's in a Drop of Water?"  She was also awarded the Citgo Fueling Education Award of $1,000 this summer to spend on classroom supplies.  

Gladden also has been a part of the Mickelson Exxon Mobil Teacher's Academy, the E4 Study (Exploring the Efficacy of Engineering is Elementary) Study through the National Science Foundation, the Museum of Science, Boston’s Engineering is Elementary (EiE) program, and NC State University. This summer she became a certified extended network provider for EiE. This allows her to provide EiE professional development trainings for western North Carolina. 

Icard Principal Daniel Wall said, “Icard Elementary is very proud of Mrs. Gladden's accomplishments. Her excellence in teaching science and caring for all her students has made a positive impact on our school and community. We celebrate with Mrs. Gladden in this wonderful achievement.” 

Burke County Public Schools Superintendent Larry Putnam said, “I have observed first hand in Ms. Gladden's classroom. During one lesson, students were simulating an actual oil spill and which materials would absorb oil better than others. The students were so engaged because it was a ‘real world’ problem to solve.”

Gladden is a graduate of South Caldwell High School and Appalachian State University. She has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in elementary education K-6. She also has her National Board Teaching Certification and AIG K-12 Licensure. Gladden is married to Tommy Gladden, also a Burke County Public Schools employee, and they have two daughters.