Congratulations to the 2022-2023 recipients of the Elizabeth "Libby" Kingseed Teaching with Deliberation Memorial Award, Ellie Kaas and Briena Stoica. The following is more information about this year's recipients.
Ellie Kaas is in her 16th year of teaching. She currently teaches high school social studies at Ozaukee High School in Fredonia, Wisconsin, where she has taught for the past seven years. As one of two teachers in her department, she covers many different subjects such as World History, U.S. History, Social Problems, American Government, and AP Government and Politics. This year she has recently added a course entitled Learning to Succeed, which aims to help incoming freshmen to become college and career ready. With her work in the social sciences, Kaas has come to recognize the importance of civic engagement and civil discourse. Through her work in the classroom, she hopes to help students develop the skills they need to better enrich their communities and fulfill their responsibilities of citizenship. Over the past year, she has completely overhauled the Social Problems curriculum to align with the National Issues Forums' deliberative discussion model to help students understand the complexities of their society. She hopes that students will learn that solution-orientated dialogues are key to resolving controversial issues. Kaas holds a BS in English as a Second Language Education from the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh and plans on pursuing an MA in American history, political science, or government in the coming year.
Briena Stoica teaches English as a Foreign Language, in Targu Mures, Romania. Her passion for expanding her students' in-depth understanding of the time and world they inhabit generated the two clubs she has led in the past 10 years: Mindbusters Debate Club and, more recently, The Socratic English Club. During her English classes the students have the chance to develop their thinking and explore topics that would prepare them to become reliable and proactive citizens.
The students recommended Briena for a Merito Teachers' Award which she received in 2018. New learning paths have been opened as a result of her Merito nomination that Briena has fruitfully followed. This May, for example, she has finished an online course at Harvard Graduate School of Education on "Visible Thinking" and she is currently enrolled in a course at The Institute of Habits of Mind.
Briena's close relationship with her family and her three children is inspirational in the way she relates to her students at school: with love and compassion as well as admiration for their inquisitive nature and amazing potential.
About the Elizabeth "Libby" Kingseed Awards
The Elizabeth "Libby" Kingseed Teaching with Deliberation Memorial Award recognizes the commitment she had to civic education, especially her support of teacher networking, experimentation, and reflection on the use of deliberation in the classroom.
The $500 award is open to any K-12 teacher who is inspired to implement deliberation or deliberative pedagogy in the classroom and who is new to using the practices. The teacher should have demonstrated commitment to fostering the civic development of students though it is not necessary that they be a civics or social studies teacher. All K-12 teachers are encouraged to apply.
Libby Kingseed was a program officer and archivist at the Kettering Foundation. She was a passionate leader of the foundation's K-12 civic education research and worked closely with teachers using National Issues Forum (NIF) in the classroom. Libby recognized the need for civic education to be included in the education of children in order to help them understand how to be active, engaged citizens in the future.