Quartermasters Honor Top Instructors
November 10, 2009
FORT LEE, Va. (Nov. 10, 2009) -- For two years now, Sgt. 1st Class Joseph White has passed through a certain hallway at Mifflin Hall and routinely made note of the Instructor of the Year photo display.
"I'd say, 'Hey, I know some of those people,'" he recalled.
White will no longer have to pass the display and make references to "those people." His image will soon be featured amongst those honored for their achievements in the classroom after claiming the 2009 Quartermaster School Instructor of the Year title at Fort Lee, Va.
White bested the efforts of four other contestants and was announced the winner of the annual competition during the Distinguished Instructor and Instructor of the Year Awards Ceremony held at the Aerial Delivery and Field Services Department Auditorium Nov. 5. The Joint Culinary Center of Excellence instructor said it will be a thrill to have his image grace the hallway of historic Mifflin Hall.
"Now, they're going to see me up there and they're going to say he must have been a pretty squared-away guy to get the instructor of the year," he said after the ceremony.
The IOY/DIY competition aims to recognize the QM School's most effective instructors using criteria such as technical proficiency, communication skills and student interaction. Instructors were judged during classroom sessions but also appeared before a panel of professionals.
Brig. Gen. Jesse R. Cross, QM School commanding general and the keynote speaker for the ceremony, said the instructors are the most critical element in the school's mission and thanked them for their work.
"We appreciate how much you have given of yourself to ensure that all of our students are highly competent in their fields," he said.
Cross also pointed out what the accomplishments mean in terms of setting examples.
"The encouragement and expectation is that everybody that follows in your footsteps will follow the same path, your pursuit of excellence in all that you do," he said.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Phyllis A. Mitchell and Sgt. 1st Class Mark G. Gulezian, also of the JCCoE, finished as the first and second runners up, respectively. The Logistics Training Department's Capt. Nathan Washington and ADFSD's Staff Sgt. Thomas A. DuBois rounded out the top five.
The Distinguished Instructor Award distinction was a prerequisite for the IOY Award.
White, a food service Soldier of 19 years who teaches the Food Service Management Course, said he made the decision to enter the competition with the idea to stand above those in his career field.
"It's the best way to distinguish yourself among your peers," said the 37-year-old. "Anybody can come here, go to the instructor school and teach, but if you want to take that extra step forward ..."
Mitchell said the competition is a way to stay competitive and a way to pass on the training and experiences one has attained.
"The operational Army looks at instructors like, 'Well, they're only teaching,'" she said after the ceremony. "But it's more than teaching. You are pouring yourself - your experiences, knowledge, wisdom - into the students that are in front of you, so I think it's important that we stay competitive out here in any field. That's a motivator for us."
Prior to the announcement of the IOY Awards, 23 other instructors were honored with the Distinguished Instructor Award. These instructors were subject to a rigorous selection process that included classroom observation. Their names will be placed on a plague and permanently displayed.
White received a plaque and numerous gifts from sponsors as a result of winning the award. He is scheduled to depart Fort Lee in January for Fort Bragg, N.C.