MUHS teacher George Rooney receives award

MIDDLEBURY — George Rooney, who teaches at Middlebury Union High School in Middlebury, is one of five driver education teachers from throughout the U.S. to be selected by their peers as Teachers of Excellence. 
The honor, which carries with it a cash stipend, comes from the American Driver & Traffic Safety Education Association (ADTSEA) and The National Road Safety Foundation, a non-profit group that creates driver safety education materials.  
Rooney, who has taught at MUHS since 2012, says he became a driver education teacher after a close friend was killed by a teen driver who made one mistake. Before coming to Middlebury, Rooney taught in-vehicle instruction at South Burlington High School for three years. 
MUHS Principal Bill Lawson said that Rooney’s “unsurpassed enthusiasm for his subject drives his creativity with lessons that are always unique, clear and creative.”
“Driving instructors are dedicated and passionate teachers who often serve as role models in ways that often go far beyond driver education,” said David Reich of The National Road Safety Foundation and a member of the ADTSEA Board of Directors.  “The five teachers being honored with the Teacher Excellence Award have demonstrated impressive creativity and enthusiasm in the important work they do to make driving safely a lifelong experience.” 
The other 2020 Teachers of Excellence are from Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Oregon.
“George Rooney represents our best, who inspire others to be passionate and effective teachers of this important life skill,” said Rich Hanson, who heads the selection committee for ADTSEA. “We are proud to honor him and his colleagues as the 2020 Teachers of Excellence.”
Rooney believes the driver education community must be more accepting of alternative means of delivering instruction, from online course material to use of simulators. He served as president of the Vermont Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association from 2017 to 2019. 

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