Above and Beyond
Honoring the 2013 Charles F. Chapman Award for Excellence in Teaching Winners
By Yvonne Hill
At its 2014 Annual Meeting in Jacksonville, Fla., USPS honored five outstanding volunteer instructors with the 2013 Charles F. Chapman Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Once a year, each squadron nominates one outstanding instructor to its district, which selects one winner for judging at the national level.
Winners receive a plaque honoring their achievement, a four-year USPS-certified instructor card and a gold Chapman Award lapel pin. Their squadrons receive a high-quality sextant in a presentation case engraved with the winner’s name and squadron. A permanent log is kept in the USPS Memorial Library in Raleigh, N.C.
Join us in congratulating the 2013 Charles F. Chapman Award for Excellence in Teaching winners, a dedicated group of volunteers going above and beyond in support of USPS education.
P/R/C Kenneth N. Beckman, SN, of St. Petersburg Sail & Power Squadron/22 worked as an aeronautical engineer and served as a master navigator and US Air Force colonel before joining USPS. According to a former student, “He carried his professionalism and knowledge over to the teaching of USPS courses.”
Having taught all USPS courses, Ken also chaired the national Navigation Committee and has been instrumental in writing the Junior Navigation and Navigation courses.
Students emphasize his willingness to explain concepts in many ways so that people with different learning styles can grasp the material. “Ken is able to work with people until the light bulb comes on,” wrote one student, adding that, “his positive feedback helps people keep going when they become discouraged.”
Over and over, students marveled at Ken’s willingness to make himself available to provide help with homework items. “His willingness, even eagerness, to take calls at any time made us feel comfortable that we weren’t being pests,” said one student.
Students also appreciate Ken’s devotion to his subject matter. “His enthusiasm for the material is infectious,” said another student, who recalled how Ken had shared some old sextants and described how they work, stimulating students’ interest.
P/C Jesus Davison-Lampón, JN, of Carolina Sail & Power Squadron/33, a retired civil engineer, was a founding member of the squadron and also designed its burgee.
An enthusiastic and inspiring instructor, he has been willing to teach all squadron courses—whether basic or advanced—while being a strong promoter of advanced grades education, both in his squadron and district.
“One of the members that motivated me the most [to obtain the grade of Senior Navigator] was Jesus Davison, through his extensive knowledge of navigation and knots,” wrote one student. Under his leadership, the squadron recently graduated 12 Junior Navigators in a single class, eight from the squadron and four from other squadrons in the district.
Students mentioned that Jesus inspired them to join USPS, continue taking course and become instructors. His students appreciated his willingness to provide make-up work for missed classes, give extra help when needed and plan activities to supplement coursework.
As one student wrote, “he plans practical exercises, on land and on the water, to help us understand and apply the principles learned in the classroom.”
Students repeatedly commented on his passion for teaching as well as his infectious enthusiasm for his subject matter. As one student put it, “He is tireless, energetic, passionate, extremely knowledgeable, respectful, enthusiastic and creative.”
Stf/C Stanley L. Klein, SN, of Middletown Power Squadron/1, a retired electrical engineer, has been teaching USPS courses for more than 20 years and has participated in or taught every course and seminar offered by his squadron.
Stan teaches Junior Navigation and Navigation by himself, and he wrote the Celestial Tools computer program to help students with sight reductions and other USPS coursework.
As one former student put it, “As a holder of a master’s degree in civil engineering, I have been taught by many highly qualified professional teachers, and I rate [Stan] among the best.”
Students agreed that he does whatever it takes to make sure everyone understands the lessons. “He would find different illustrations, explanations and memory aids, until we could each, in our own way, grasp a relevant concept, method, computation or procedure,” explained a former student.
Several students mentioned Stan’s Super Navigator problems. The exercises encourage students to view course concepts from a different perspective. “The effect is to sort of awaken the mind and shine a different and interesting light on the concept or principle,” one student explained.
Students enjoyed Stan’s teaching style, calling it “relaxed but effective” and calling his classes “the high point of the week.”
“The practical outings to the shore for our necessary sextant readings and practice were another indication of Stanley’s dedication, not only to the class, but also to each individual student,” wrote a former JN student.
R/C Eugene E. Molteni, SN, of Bayside Power Squadron/3, a retired mechanical engineer, has taught all but two USPS courses, including America’s Boating Course 3rd edition, which he was instrumental in developing.
One student who took the basic boating course with Gene appreciated the thorough education he received. “The skills I learned from Gene in that course enabled me to pilot my boat in unfamiliar waters safely and with confidence.”
Gene goes out of his way to make classes accessible to his students. When Hurricane Sandy struck New York, he used GoToMeeting to conduct Junior Navigation classes so students wouldn’t have to brave fallen trees and power lines to get to class.
Students enjoy his teaching style. “His warm personality and good sense of humor always make his classes enjoyable,” one former student wrote.
Students noted that Gene goes above and beyond, “even holding private sessions for some students who may have difficulties or who have missed sessions.”
One Engine Maintenance student explained it best, “The bottom line: I did not know anything, and Gene showed me everything.”
P/C Jeffrey M. Moore, JN, of Hawaii Sail & Power Squadron/13, has taught most USPS courses and seminars, and he often teaches two or more at a time while working full time as a project engineer.
Despite his busy schedule, he also finds time to mentor others. “Even as an instructor, I continue to receive [Jeff’s] support and review for my instruction in Seamanship, Trailering and seminars,” a fellow instructor and former student wrote.
Jeff’s classes are in high demand and sell out months in advance because of his exceptional teaching abilities, said one member.
“A good instructor will make students hungry for more, and Jeff is a strong draw for students like me,” wrote a former student who has taken more than a dozen classes with Jeff.
Several students as well as his peers mentioned his willingness to do whatever it takes to make learning fun and understandable. According to one squadron member, “he has two trunks full of lifejackets, flares, devices and remote control boats … . He has buoys, makes homemade electrical devices, does experiments and makes videos for his classes. He puts hours of planning and preparation into every class he teaches to make the class perfect for his students.”
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