Congratulations to O’Connell faculty member, Mrs. Melissa Pore, who was selected by the D.W. Steele Memorial Chapter of the Air and Space Forces Association (AFA) as their 2022 Teacher of the Year, and then named the AFA’s 2022 Virginia State Teacher of the Year.
Linda McMahon, President of the Virginia AFA and Mike Maxwell, D.W. Steele Chapter Vice President for Aerospace Education, presented Pore with the awards on May 17, citing her “achievements in advancing and motivating students and young people toward the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines.”
Pore has been an engineering and technology teacher at Bishop O’Connell for the past five years. During that time, she has encouraged her students to explore new frontiers well beyond the classroom, leading a multitude of clubs that include the Engineering Club, Seaperch Underwater Robotics Club, Amateur Radio Club, Aviation Club, and Astrobotany Club. She previously taught computer and STEM classes at St. Thomas More Cathedral School.
Outside of the classroom, Pore is an educational leader, working with organizations such as the US National Lab International Space Station, Space Station Explorers, NASA's Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN), Space Center Houston SEEC Crew and the U.S. Naval Academy. She is a licensed Amateur Radio operator and an Ambassador for the Education Committee for Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS). She serves on the US ARISS Ops team at Goddard Space Flight Center, supporting downlinks between schools and astronauts on the ISS. She also serves as a member of the User Advisory Committee (UAC) for the International Space Station National Lab. Over the past eight years, her students have designed and developed three different satellites, and her students have won national recognition in several recent NASA-sponsored competitions.
On behalf of the entire Bishop O’Connell community, Principal Frank Roque expressed his gratitude to the AFA for this recognition and shared his appreciation for Mrs. Pore and her engaging, student-centered, and joy-filled devotion to her students.
Go Knights! Go Knowledge!