Winners of the 2022 Charles F. Chapman Award for Excellence in Teaching
During the 2023 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida, National Educational Officer Bill McManimen presented the 2022 Charles F. Chapman Award for Excellence in Teaching to three outstanding instructors: Bob Lindholm, Ted Reiss and Mike Moye. This year’s winners represent the best of the best of United States Power Squadrons, America’s Boating Club.
The Chapman Award is the highest recognition awarded to USPS educators, who are selected each year from a pool of nominees by the Chapman Awards Selection Team of the Instructor Development Committee. The honorees receive a recognition plaque, a gold Chapman Award lapel pin, a four-year Certified Instructor wallet card and their names inscribed in a permanent logbook kept in the Chapman Memorial Library at headquarters.
Bob Lindholm of Jones Beach Sail & Power Squadron/3 has been a member for 33 years and has earned 31 merit marks.
Bob, or “Teacher Bob” as one student affectionately called him, has taught numerous classes and seminars, including America’s Boating Course, Boat Handling, Piloting, Advanced Piloting, Cruise Planning, Marine Electronics, Radar and more. Even during COVID-19 lockdowns, Bob stepped up and offered his office as a classroom, as it was already set up for remote learning.
He likes to use humor and personal examples to relate class material to his students. “I have found that when course material is explained with humor and stories, the student is able to recall what was taught during the class and, more importantly, how to use it,” he said.
His students and the people who know him agree. “The enthusiasm that he puts into his classes as well as his jokes always makes the student feel at ease,” said Jones Beach Commander Robert Natoli. “Bob has been the backbone of our Educational Department.”
His teaching style keeps everyone in the class engaged, according to Dwayne Springs, former student and now proctor in many of Bob’s classes. “Bob can relate a story from his vast boating experience and also use available teaching aids so a concept can be understood.”
Bob’s mastery of the material has even wowed fellow teachers. “I was impressed with his command of the material and [his ability] to easily answer all questions posed,” said Gene Desepoli, a college professor of many years. One of Bob’s students, Daniel Stein, said he learned a lot from Bob—despite being a boat owner for 50 years.
According to Gene, more than his knowledge, it’s Bob’s humility and willingness to ask students their opinions that are the marks of a good teacher.
“He exhibited patience answering all of our questions and was able to link course material to real-life experiences, whether it was his own or others he knew,” said Joseph Tancredi, who took America’s Boating Course and Boat Handling with Bob. Bob’s passion for boating convinced Joseph (and everyone else in the class) to join the squadron.
Ted Reiss Jr.
Ted Reiss Jr. of Marco Island Sail & Power Squadron/22 has been a member since 1988 and has earned 26 merit marks.
Demonstrating his skills in the classroom and on the water, Ted has taught America’s Boating Course, Advanced Marine Navigation, How to Use a Chart, Partner in Command, Advanced Powerboat Handling, Hurricane Preparedness and Jump Start.
A teacher’s teacher, Ted is hands-on and personable. Multiple students highlighted his eagerness to assist them on the water, whether by helping them pilot a new boat home from the marina or by spending several hours ensuring they understood the local waterways and maneuvers. Ted wants his students to succeed.
“His encouragement is truly infectious,” Christopher Frost said of his erstwhile instructor. Under Ted’s tutelage, Christopher became an instructor himself, taking instructor training and assisting in teaching America’s Boating Course and others.
Ted demonstrates an enthusiasm and breadth of knowledge and experience “that lends particular depth to his teaching,” according to his student David Randall, who also took Instructor Development with Ted. “My experience in Instructor Development showed Ted’s gift for preparing the next generation of squadron instructors for doing the job well.”
His teaching style keeps everyone engaged. “He maintained a professional, patient and pleasant demeanor,” said K. Rachelle Derrough. “Ted has a gift for making technical material understandable and those inevitably dry topics palatable.”
Ted understands what his students want. “We live on an island. The students are mostly retirees over the age of 55,” he said. “These students want face-to-face involvement; they want a social interaction; they want hard copies of the materials to mark up.”
He provides them with that hands-on involvement—from tying knots and loading a flare gun to having a graduation party once the class is over.
He concludes the first night of every course with a statement: “I am here for you to learn. ”
Mike Moye of Golden Isles Sail & Power Squadron/26 has been a member since 1988 and has earned eight merit marks.
Mike has taught America’s Boating Course, Boat Handling and portions of other seminars requested by squadron members.
Mike’s academic background as a teacher-turned-college president buttresses his role now as a United States Power Squadrons instructor. It led him to become the “heart of the squadron’s educational program,” said Golden Isles Sail & Power Squadron Commander Jerry Lamb. Mike thinks like a teacher would: using props such as VHF radios and a toy boat and spending hours building knot-tying stations for the marlinspike section of Boat Handling.
“He is a major part of the glue that holds the squadron together—an inspiring teacher, an outstanding planner and executor of educational programs, and a valued member of the bridge team,” Jerry said. “Mike’s love of boating and enthusiasm to share that feeling with his students raises Mike from just another instructor to that rarest of creatures, a true teacher.”
Students say his approachability and enthusiasm, combined with his vast boating experience, make him an outstanding teacher. “His welcoming style of presentation puts everyone at ease—regardless of their level of boating knowledge and experience,” said Whit Perrin Wright, who took America’s Boating Course with Mike.
Mike knows that making the material relatable, primarily through personal experience, keeps students engaged. Fellow member Vicky Jefferis echoed this sentiment.
“He always has a story to tell about the mistakes he’s made and what he should have done instead,” she said. “As a result, students are always comfortable engaging in class discussions and never hesitate to ask questions or seek clarification.”
Mike says it’s important that students have a positive learning experience. “We want them to go away from our classes thinking good things about the boating world and the kinds of activities they can do out on the water.”