Freida J. Riley Teacher Award 2000
$5,000 Freida J. Riley Teacher Award Columbus Scholar
Robert A. Ferguson
A. Ferguson, the first recipient of the Freida
J. Riley Teacher Award, is a special education teacher at Whitney
Middle School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Award was presented in May at the
Opening Ceremony for Space Day 2000 at the
Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
A recipient of the Purple Heart for injuries sustained in Vietnam, Mr.
Ferguson has faced trials that would have defeated lesser men. In addition
to his injuries, he has battled and triumphed over Crohns disease and diabetes
to accomplish his goal of becoming a special education teacher for multi-handicapped
students in grades 6-8.
Mr. Ferguson has also chosen to draw strength from his difficult past and
illnesses to give back to the youth in his community where he has been a
leader of cadets in the Civil Air Patrol and a teacher-instructor at StarBase.
Both state and national leaders have recognized Mr. Ferguson for his devotion
to youth at school and in his community.