Mr. Gillis Named Master Teacher

Dave Gillis of Middleburg Academy has been selected as a Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Master Teacher after completing a rigorous summer program that involved training new PLTW teachers. PLTW is a nonprofit organization that provides transformational learning experiences to K-12 students and teachers across the U.S., through K-12 pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science.

PLTW’s Master Teachers are a talented and passionate cohort of PLTW teachers who play a vital role in preparing PLTW classroom teachers with the knowledge and skills needed to lead PLTW’s engaging learning experiences for K-12 students. There are currently 565 PLTW Master Teachers in the U.S.

During PLTW’s immersive classroom teacher training and beyond, Master Teachers lead their fellow teachers through the curricular content and activities and empower them to take on the role of classroom facilitator and coach. Throughout the school year, Master Teachers offer ongoing support through online Professional Learning Communities, email, and phone calls. Furthermore, Master Teachers teach PLTW classes themselves.

PLTW selected Dave Gillis after a rigorous application and interview process. Master Teacher candidates must meet PLTW’s Criteria for Excellence which includes:

  • Being a champion of PLTW programs and the organization’s mission to prepare students with the knowledge and skills to thrive in an evolving world;

  • Possessing strong pedagogical content knowledge;

  • Demonstrating exemplary instructional abilities;

  • Exhibiting a knowledge and awareness of not only teaching students, but also adult learners; and,

  • Using reflecting as an agent for change.

  • In addition, applicants to the PLTW Master Teacher program submitted a video demonstration, learning demonstration, and letters of recommendation.


This year, PLTW selected 90 teachers from the more than 150 applicants to be Apprentice (first-year) Master Teachers. In 2016, the first-year Master Teachers will teach alongside and apprentice a veteran Master Teacher, before becoming veteran Master Teachers in 2017.