Oak Mountain Middle School teacher Sherri Whitehead was named the VEX IQ teacher of the year at the 2016 VEX Worlds robotics competition.
The competition, held from April 20-23 in Louisville, Kentucky, brings together robotics teams from around the world. This year’s competition included nearly 1,000 teams from 400 qualifying tournaments that occurred around the world between June 2015 and March 2016.
Whitehead has taught the Project Lead the Way STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) course at OMMS for the past two years and sponsors six teams at the school. She was introduced by OMMS student Khaled Zuaiter as the winner of the VEX IQ Teacher of the Year award at the competition.
“The Teacher of the Year award is recognized as an educator who is passionate about learning and shows true leadership and dedication to his or her students,” Zuaiter. “Our teacher exemplifies these ideals and is a role model to our team.”
All of OMMS’s six robotics teams qualified for the Alabama VEX competition, and two teams moved on to VEX Worlds, even though it was the program’s first year.
“It was under her leadership that our school joined the VEX IQ challenge this year for the first time with six teams,” Zuaiter said. “With her guidance and careful instruction, our teams have learned to think critically about the work we are doing and solve problems on our own.”
Zuaiter added that Whitehead’s encouragement and efforts to help the team secure supplies through fundraising efforts helped push team members to do their best.
“Her willingness to take time from her personal life to share her knowledge encourages each of us to use the skills we have to succeed in robotics and beyond,” he said.