Gifted and talented elementary teacher receives Distinguished Alumni Award

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Timothy J. McClung teaches gifted and talented youngsters at Twin Lakes Elementary School. Today he was named the UW Tacoma Distinguished Alumnus for 2010.

McClung teaches the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) class for third through fifth grade and is the school's coordinator for its accelerated reader program.

UW Tacoma's Distinguished Alumni Award pays tribute to successful UW Tacoma graduates who have set themselves apart by making significant contributions to career achievement, for inspiring excellence in others, for having a long-lasting impact in their business and the community and for demonstrating a visible commitment to the well-being of others.

McClung volunteers his time to mentor UW Tacoma students and peer teachers such as Annie John, a graduate student in education at UW Tacoma seeking her professional certification. McClung serves as advisor to John, meeting with her and providing support and feedback throughout the year-long process.

"Spending just five minutes in his classroom re-inspires me to become better, to do more, and love teaching again," said John. "I hope that someday I can inspire others the way Tim has inspired me."

She added, "Tim has been the difference in my life between being a teacher and being an inspirer. Almost anyone can teach; very few teachers can inspire."

McClung also received the 2010 Twin Lakes Elementary Teacher of the Year Award and was one of eight finalists for the Federal Way School District Teacher of the Year Award.

Guy Gamble, principal of the Twin Lakes Elementary School in Federal Way, said, "Tim is absolutely one of the best GATE teachers I have ever had the honor of working with in my 20-odd years in education."

Barbara Bergman, principal of Sherwood Forest Elementary School in Federal Way, where McClung worked formerly, described McClung as a community builder and role model for children who could make connections with them.

An active member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, McClung serves as a member of the Federal Way School District's Science Action Committee, as well as the district's Curriculum Committees for Math and Social Studies.

McClung is the second educational professional and seventh recipient overall of UW Tacoma's Distinguished Alumni Award.

McClung received his bachelor of arts in liberal studies from UW Tacoma in 1993. Although he'd previously enjoyed a successful career in the construction industry, McClung left the profession to pursue teaching, earning his master in teaching degree from City University in 2003.

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June 1, 2010