FORTVILLE — Mt. Vernon Middle School teacher Deb Thomas recently received the Indiana Middle School Geography Teacher of the Year Award.
This award, from the Geography Educators’ Network of Indiana, is given each year to a middle school and a high school teacher in Indiana who live out the organization’s mission by promoting the value and significance of geography. The award was announced at the annual Indiana Council for the Social Studies Conference, of which GENI is a sponsor.
“It has been a privilege to guide my students along a part of their educational journeys for over thirty years,” she said in a press release. “Although some of them may never scale the heights of Mt. Kilimanjaro or tour the Taj Mahal, many will now live and learn alongside others who possess diverse customs and beliefs. Students must prepare for a world that has become exponentially smaller, so history, geographic literacy, and cultural awareness are more critical than ever.”
She said the organization helps teachers expand students’ knowledge and understanding by offering a variety of student programs, professional development opportunities, and resources.
The Geography Educators’ Network of Indiana works to ensure that Indiana citizens are geographically literate. The organization serves to provide educators with resources, connections, and teaching concepts that aid them in reaching this goal in their classroom. This allows students to develop geographical skills that will assist them in other aspects of their learning.
Thomas has been a teacher at Mt. Vernon Schools for 30 years. She was also recently recognized as a Top 10 finalist for the 2020 Indiana Teacher of the Year Award through the Indiana Department of Education.