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Gwinnett educator named Georgia History Teacher of the Year

By Amanda C. Coyne, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution #atlanta-ga

A Gwinnett County Public Schools educator has been named Georgia History Teacher of the Year.

Kari Slaten, a U.S. history teacher at Central Gwinnett High School, was chosen to receive the honor by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the Georgia Department of Education. The award is presented by the Gilder Lehrman Institute annually. It chooses one teacher from each state and territory, as well as the District of Columbia and schools run by the U.S. Department of Defense, to receive the honor. Any U.S. history teacher in grades kindergarten through 12 can be nominated by supervisors, colleagues, students or parents.

Slaten has a bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Temple University and a master’s degree in secondary social studies from Nova Southeastern University. She works to connect her history lessons to students’ lives and experiences, a district release said.

“Current U.S. history students are the citizens and leaders of the future,” Slaten said in the release. “It is imperative to make sure they are going out into the world understanding the past, and how to be an engaged citizen to help shape the future.”

Georgia Superintendent of Schools Richard Woods, himself a former social studies teacher, praised Slaten’s approach.

“It is critically important that our students receive a robust, relevant history education that allows them to participate meaningfully in civic life,” Woods said in the release. “Kari’s creative, engaging teaching style prepares her students to do just that.”