Patrick A. Welsh, a teacher at D.W. Daniel High School in Central, South Carolina, has been selected
by the Aerospace Education Foundation (AEF) as the 20th recipient of the prestigious Christa McAuliffe
Memorial Teacher of the Year Award. AEF, an affiliate of the Air Force Association, is dedicated to
ensuring America's aerospace excellence. The South Carolina State AFA and D.W. Daniel High School
nominated Patrick Welsh for the national award.
The Christa McAuliffe Memorial Award honors a public, private, or parochial classroom teacher (K –
12th grade) who demonstrates excellence in furthering the concepts of aerospace technologies in the
classroom through successful, innovative curricular classroom programs.
Welsh was singled out for his innovative approach in teaching physics at D.W. Daniel High School. He
will receive the $5,000 award during the AFA National Convention and Conference in Washington, DC, on
September 12, 2005.
Welsh developed both an AP physics class and a TP physics program. The entire AP physics curriculum
deals with Newtonian Mechanics and the TP program devotes about two-thirds of the program to motion.
Aerospace topics are liberally incorporated into each of the courses. In the AP Physics class, simple
harmonic motion and exponential growth and decay are covered and the class finishes with a unit on
gravitation and the physics of spaceflight. The TP class covers units on electrostatics, DC circuits,
waves and sound. He is a truly “rounded” teacher who excels in the teaching profession and contributes
to his community through programs such as the Habitat for Humanity.
In 2005, AEF will also honor a second and third place winner for the McAuliffe Award. The second
place award of $2,500 will be given to Jeri Ann Martin who teaches at Thomas L. Sims Middle School
in Pace, Florida. Ms. Martin was nominated for the award by the AFA Hurlburt Chapter. The third place
award of $1,000 will be given to Paul Willard of Franklin County High School in Rocky Mount,
Virginia. He was nominated by the AFA Roanoke Chapter. The presentations of the second and third place
awards are being coordinated with the sponsoring units.
The Aerospace Education Foundation offers numerous scholarships, grants, awards and public awareness
programs to promote public awareness of the importance of science and technology to national defense.
Return to the AEF
Christa McAuliffe Memorial Award Guideline Page