Tukes Valley educator named history teacher of the year

Linda Korum recognized by the Sons of the American Revolution

5th grade teacher Linda KorumTukes Valley Middle School fifth grade teacher Linda Korum has been selected as the top middle school history teacher in the U.S. by the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR). The local Fort Vancouver Chapter of the organization nominated her for the national award after bestowing on her the 2020 Dr. Tom and Betty Lawrence American History Teacher Award. The award recognizes educators who distinguish themselves in teaching the history of the American Revolution.

“I feel that it’s my duty to not just teach history, but to teach students about what it means to be an American, and what the American spirit is all about,” Korum said. “My job is to show students how the past shapes our present, and how what happens in the present is shaping our future.”

Teachers who applied for the award submitted an essay describing extraordinary teaching techniques or innovative projects they use to engage and inspire their students. For winning the local award, Korum received a Ft. Vancouver chapter SAR certificate and $200.

Each year, SAR recognizes three top teachers across the country—one each from a high school, a middle school and a primary school—for their outside-the-box approaches in the classroom. Teachers from virtually every state apply and compete for the national honor by illustrating how their non-traditional methods challenge students to appreciate our nation’s rich history.

Korum relies on much more than lectures and textbook learning to engage students in lessons about the American Revolution and other key historic occasions. For one assignment, Korum has her students conduct a scavenger hunt at home with the goal of finding items that can be associated with the Revolutionary War. Students have fun discovering historic references in dollar bills, tea bags and teacups. Another popular activity in Korum’s class is her annual mock congressional hearings where students roleplay as legislators and conduct hearings in front of a panel of guest judges.

As a national winner, Korum will receive a scholarship valued at $3,000 to cover tuition and expenses to attend a teacher workshop or seminar on the American Revolution. She can choose between seminars such as the Freedoms Foundation Summer Teacher Graduate Workshop at Valley Forge, Penn.; the Colonial Williamsburg Summer Teacher Workshop in Williamsburg, Va.; the Jefferson Symposium at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. and other similar programs. Korum has 30 months in which to attend a workshop.

The Sons of the American Revolution is the largest male lineage organization in the United States and comprises men who can provide lineal bloodline descent from people who served during the Revolutionary War, or who contributed to establishing the independence of the United States. The society is dedicated to assisting its members, schools, teachers, veterans and the general public in their efforts to sustain and preserve our history and constitutional principles. It consists of 50 societies with more than 500 local chapters, several international societies and over 36,000 members.

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