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Friday, August 26, 2011

Utah Elementary Teacher "King" of National Competition

Ruth King, Cedar Ridge Elementary (Alpine School District) teacher, has been crowned National Council for the Social Studies Elementary Teacher of the Year. Ms. King was selected among teachers from all 50 states and is the first Utah elementary teacher to claim the title.

Ms. King is outstanding in the area of developing and using instructional materials creatively and effectively. Her classroom lessons are fun and creative. She uses technology to engage her students. She has served on numerous committees at the local, district, state and national levels to help develop the best materials possible for a wide range of students with diverse needs and interests. Most recently she has been Utah’s ambassador for the Teaching With Primary Sources Program through the Library of Congress. She not only supports other teachers in instruction on the use of primary sources, but uses them with her students.

Ruth also stands out in using innovation and effective instructional strategies and techniques. She focuses on the impact she is having with her students and adjusts instruction as needed. One of her real strengths is her broad knowledge not only of content, but adapting the correct pedagogy to that content. She is a strong proponent of teaching to our Utah Core Curriculum standards and is knowledgeable in the NCSS interrelated themes and standards.

King also serves as a board member for the Utah Council for the Social Studies and is active in the Utah Geographical Alliance. More than serving in professional organizations, she is active in helping teachers throughout the state access the resources these organizations offer. She is always willing and eager to share her expertise, resources, ideas and strategies with others. She has given so much to the profession of teaching social studies. We call her “Miss 7-UP” because she’s so bubbly when talking about something new she has learned or used, or a historic site she has visited. She stands out from other teachers in this area because she doesn’t just visit historic sites, she uses them. When she works on committees to provide resources to teachers, she uses them. She is highly involved in constantly looking at her practice to improve and to see what new ideas she can bring to her classroom, her school, and our state.

Ms. King is a role model to her students of being a lifelong learner. She is constantly looking for ways to help her students make connection to their growing local and global communities. At every seminar, class, conference and workshop she attends, she brings back something fun for her students. Her classroom is based on principals of democracy and good and engaged citizenship. Students are taught democratic principles and given opportunities to use them well. Ruth is one of only a few teachers I have met who focus on this and help fifth grade students see what they can do at their age to make a difference.

The Utah Council for the Social Studies was pleased to nominate Ms. Ruth King to represent our organization. She is an outstanding and exemplary teacher who dedicates herself every day to being the best teacher she can be so that her students will be the best they can be. Congratulations, Ruth King!

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