Making Government Relevant to Teens

By Chris Henry
chenry@kitsapsun.com
SOUTH KITSAP
Teresa “Terri” Messing, a seventh-grade geography and reading teacher at Cedar Heights Junior High School was honored in Olympia Monday as the 2010 Washington Legislature’s Civic Educator of the Year. Messing has used a program called “Project Citizen” in her classroom to help students understand public policy and to realize they have the power to make changes in their school and community.
The annual award recognizes a teacher in the state who has been most involved in teaching students about government at the state and local levels.
Other local teachers receiving civics educator honors during the awards ceremony at the Washington State Capitol were Amanda Eisele, a first-grade teacher at Sunnyslope Elementary School and Ken Brown, a social studies teacher at Peninsula High School in Gig Harbor’s Peninsula School District.
The three teachers from the 26th Legislative District were nominated by Rep. Jan Angel (R) Port Orchard. A total of seven educators from throughout the state were recognized at the ceremony.
“Too often, students may feel they have no say in their government, or that civics is boring and should be left to the politicians,” said Angel. “But these outstanding teachers have made this subject come alive with their students and have shown them the importance of their involvement in government. They are a great influence for the next generation of our leaders and I am proud the Legislature is giving them the honor they deserve.”
Award recipients were chosen by the Civics Consortium, a 19-member panel that consists of House and Senate staff members, representatives from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, Washington State Bar Association, TVW, and several other groups.
Monday was Civics Education Day at the state Capitol. The state House of Representatives entertained a resolution honoring civic educators. Award winners attended a luncheon and ceremony with Legislators in the John A. Cherberg Building.

3 thoughts on “Making Government Relevant to Teens

  1. Is it my browser or are you not formatting paragraphs? They just run together with no obvious break. Congrats to Ms. Messing

  2. Rex – Sorry, I just pasted the story I wrote for the main Web site and paper. We don’t separate paragraphs for that. I’ll try to remember next time I do this so I don’t throw people off. Chris

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