Sixth-Grade Global Cultures Teacher Wins State Award

Trish King receives the 2019 Lottie and Alden Beverly Geography Teacher of the Year Award.
GPS sixth-grade global cultures teacher Trish King recently received the 2019 Lottie and Alden Beverly Geography Teacher of the Year Award for superior achievement in the teaching of geography in grades kindergarten through sixth. Nominated by her peers, King stood out among other Tennessee nominees for her excellence in the areas of classroom instruction, curriculum development, leadership in the teaching profession, professional development, and community involvement.
In his letter of recommendation, Dr. Ralph Covino, history/social sciences/world languages teacher and Dean of the Junior Class, wrote: “Since joining our faculty, Trish has revitalized our sixth-grade global cultures curriculum and made it, to my mind, one of the most innovative geography-based programs in the state’s independent sector. She has shared her process and methods with other educators at a variety of conferences such as that of the National Coalition of Girls Schools and the Improving Student Learning conference in Augusta, Georgia.

“In her revamped curriculum, Trish puts the girls into the driver’s seat, not as passive receptors of knowledge, but active inquirers. She gives them a sense of agency as they cultivate what National Geographic terms ‘the explorer’s mindset. Her girls are given the parameters and a timeline for completion of tasks and then they determine how their learning goes from there.”
King received her award during a luncheon at the 2019 Tennessee Council for the Social Studies annual conference (Gatlinburg, Tennessee) on Friday, March 8, hosted by the Tennessee Geographic Alliance. She was presented with a plaque from TCSS and a check for $500.
According to TCSS, the award was established as the result of donations by two generous benefactors who are brothers. They are named after two dedicated K-12 educators. Alden Beverly was a lifelong teacher and administrator in the Westchester County, NY school system. He served as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal of schools in that area.  He was genuinely interested in the health and development of public education.
In a shared recommendation, Dr. Gregg Lightfoot, GPS History Department Chair and Teacher, and Lynne Macziewski, Head of Middle School, wrote: “Our global science class centers the scientific process of discovery using geography to accentuate the cultural appreciation of our world as a complex and interconnected marketplace of ideas and production. Ms. King expertly combines expectations for understanding how spatial relationships shape and are shaped by the cultural necessities of the people on that land. She asks her students to make the tough connections across time and distance and always keeps a trained eye on encouraging the soft skills of empathy, intellectual flexibility, imagination, and awe that helps students appreciate people and places beyond simple categories or dots on the map.

“Ms. King's dedication to her students' appreciation for the lands and cultures of our community and our world makes her a deserving recipient of the Beverly Geography Teacher of the Year Award. She is tirelessly optimistic in her belief that helping students become better geographers can help them become more compassionate, empathetic, and inspired women who will change the world."
The Tennessee Council for the Social Studies is an association devoted to providing information, resources, and support for all those involved in social studies education. This includes K-12 teachers, supervisors of instruction, and college professors, in the various disciplines interested in and involved in the social studies.