First Social Studies 'Teacher of the Year' in Rockingham County

Mr. Ruliffson starts off class with a quiz by using "Kahoot!", a game-based...
Mr. Ruliffson starts off class with a quiz by using "Kahoot!", a game-based learning platform.(WHSV)
Published: Sep. 5, 2016 at 5:23 AM EDT
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Mr. Allen Ruliffson, of J. Frank Hillyard Middle School in Broadway, has been selected as the Virginia Social Studies Teacher of the Year by the Virginia Council for the Social Studies.

The annual award goes to a teacher who exemplifies master teaching and exceptional commitment to student learning.

This is the first time a social studies teacher in Rockingham County has achieved such an honor; but 7th grade teacher Mr. Ruliffson is no stranger to winning such titles.

He said that over the last few years he's been recognized for his teaching style quite a few times, and that he owes this recognition to his technology-based learning approach.

Mr. Ruliffson tries to steer clear of the standard when teaching his students. Instead of focusing on lectures and notes, like he did at the beginning of his career, he now tries to engage the kids in a way that's more appealing to them by using technology every chance he gets.

"In the past few years, especially being part of the computer pilot, I've kinda branched out a lot more," said Mr. Ruliffson. "My kids make movies, they do other presentations, other multimedia things, we use the internet a lot."

Mr. Ruliffson said that by keeping up-to-date on recent technology, he's able to make the content more relevant to his students.

"I think the movie project is everyone's favorite," said Mr. Ruliffson.

Mr. Ruliffson will be recognized for his accomplishment by the National Council for the Social Studies at their national conference in Washington D.C. on December 2nd.

He will also speak at the NCSS Presidential Breakfast that morning, which will also feature a number of Washington-area dignitaries.