By Mr. Patrick Buffett (IMCOM)May 22, 2013
FORT LEE, Va. (May 22, 2013) -- Two Army Logistics University staffers and another member of Team-CASCOM from the Soldier Support Institute at Fort Jackson, S.C., were among the individuals recognized Wednesday afternoon during a U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command 2012 Instructor of the Year ceremony.
Gen. Robert W. Cone, commanding general of TRADOC, congratulated David Barton and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Cecilia McCann from the ALU at Fort Lee, and Maj. Maria Lindsey, a Financial Management School instructor from the SSI, as well as four others from military schools in Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Vermont. Cone spoke to the awardees via video-teleconference, and the actual presentations were made by top-ranking school officials at each location.
"I'm both humbled and honored to receive this award," said McCann, who served as a Warrant Officer Basic Course instructor until March when she began a new assignment as the training support officer for the Logistics Training Department. She now oversees the 92 Alpha -- automated logistical specialist -- and 92 Yankee -- unit supply specialist -- courses for the Combined Arms Support Command's Quartermaster School.
"This is the culmination of the most rewarding 18 months of my career," McCann also said. "I was the first Technical Logistics College staff member to achieve the level of master instructor, and I owe that to the mentorship and counseling I received from my leadership team along the way. Hopefully, I've paved a path for other instructors to be the best that they can be."
Barton expressed his appreciation for the award as well, noting that he "would be remiss" to not recognize the support of the ALU Staff and Faculty Development Office team as well as his wife Ashley. He joined the university staff as an intern in 2009 and eventually became an instructional systems specialist and instructor. He is credited with providing "quality test construction, systems approach to training, training development capability and Blackboard Basic Course training throughout 2012." He also coordinated lunch-and-learn professional development workshops that were commended as a "best practice" during an accreditation visit last year. Barton recently transferred to a National Park Service position in Harpers Ferry, W.Va.
In a recent email, Lindsey wrote: "Winning (the TRADOC Instructor of the Year) award means a lot. I was a bit shocked when I saw my name among those selected. I'm still in awe … it's definitely an honor to receive this level of recognition."
Last year, the major earned SSI Instructor of the Quarter and Instructor of the Year titles in the officer category. She said the keys to her success include "knowing your material, always being confident in your delivery and not being afraid of doing research to make sure you're presenting the most updated information."
Barton said he feels he has been successful because he recognizes the fact that he can learn as much from students as they can from him. "ALU offered me the opportunity to work with some very experienced learners," he said. "My advice for other instructors is to find ways to allow students to share their experience and creativity. Make them partners in the process of learning."
Instructors who know their craft and strive to master it daily will achieve the most success, McCann added. "My rule is to learn something new, teach something to someone and improve yourself daily," she said. "I've done extensive reading on the Army Learning Model as well as adult learning and teaching techniques, and I try to surround myself with good stewards of education. That practice has given me knowledge and flexibility. Military instructors must recognize that each Soldier has an individual learning style, and we must adapt by using different teaching techniques."
When asked to describe her most memorable experience as a military instructor, McCann said she always realized her impact on WOBC students when they were completing one of their final requirements of the course -- a property accountability briefing for officers in the Captain Logistics Career Course.
"I would see the students preparing, rehearsing and trying to overcome their nerves while putting together this one-hour briefing," she said. "When the event was complete, I would conduct one-on-one counseling and I could see the confidence build in the students. It allowed them to see and understand how much they had learned and that they were ready to perform their duties. At that point, and on graduation day, I knew without hesitation that they were ready to serve with passion and with pride. They represent my legacy … what I gave back to the Army."