Bishop Herbert Welch Meritorious Teaching Award (1998)

1997-1998 Commencement Ceremony Excerpt

I am delighted to announce that the winner of the Welch Award for 1998 is professor of education, Dr. Amy McClure.

Dr. McClure received her bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, in history, from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1972. Undoubtedly, she first learned what it means to be a great teacher during her undergraduate years here. She then went on to receive a master’s degree specializing in elementary education at Emory University, a second master’s degree in reading from The Ohio State University, and finally a Ph.D. in children’s literature and language arts, also from Ohio State.

Dr. McClure came back to Ohio Wesleyan in 1979 as a part-time instructor, became full-time in 1980, and moved rapidly through the ranks, culminating with promotion to full professor in 1994. She has become as well, a highly regarded and nationally acclaimed professional educator as a result of her many publications as an author and editor and as a result of her wide experience as an education consultant. While her list of publications is long and distinguished, special mention should be made of her two most recent books, Inviting Children’s Responses to Literature and Books That Invite Talk, Wonder, and Play with Language, published in 1995 and 1996 respectively.

Dr. McClure is, according to her students, and in their words: “A great teacher who expects a lot.” She is “enthusiastic and on the cutting edge of the field.” In her courses , they say, one learns “the many aspects of using literature that are valuable in the classroom,” just a “priceless amount of info.” In shorter words and phrases, her students say that Dr. McClure is “outstanding;” “truly inspiring;” “a wonderful professor;” “a master of her subject;” “a lot of fun;” “demanding;” “challenging;” “she really makes you work;” “a true resource.”

There are also some longer sentiments expressed as well. For example: “You have taught me a lot about children, their abilities, books, reading and writing. Because of you, I feel prepared for having my own classroom when the time comes.” Another student put it in different but telling terms: “I worked my butt off.” Finally, one student said: “Dr. McClure expresses a true love not only for children’s literature, but also for children and their education. I feel as though I am ending this course knowing a lot of useful information for my major, my career, and for my own family and children.”

Obviously, Dr. Amy McClure was encouraged during her undergraduate days at Ohio Wesleyan to engage in life­ long learning. Just as obviously, today, as an Ohio Wesleyan professor, she inspires that same sense in her own students. Amy, congratulations!