Becky Feagan our 4th grade teacher won the "Gildersleeve-Stoddard-Stone Geography Education" award, an honor presented annually by the Geographic Educators of Nebraska. The award recognizes one teacher from each of the 3 Congressional Districts for their efforts and accomplishments in improving geography education in Nebraska.
This is a synopsis of the award submittal for Mrs. Feagan from Cheryl Shanker. Becky has been teaching for more than twenty years, all of them in fourth grade. She has brought history to life for these students in many ways. Becky prepares all of her units with the idea of interaction with the students. She gives them tasks to do to re-enact the various periods of history. She supplies all of them with costumes and props/artifacts to make the experiences more life-like. Students earn pretend "money" throughout the year to pay for their immigration passage to the United States during Immigration Day. The students research a family member and portray that person in costume on Immigration Day. Becky has "Peter Sarpy" a historical figure from the founding of Bellevue in the early 1800's from the Nebraska Council of Speakers come in dress to entertain/educate the students. She invites St. Matthew's students to the presentation and to the annual trip to Lincoln. Becky also takes her class on a walking field trip around Bellevue to visit historical sites. The final activity is a re-enactment of Pioneer Day when Becky and her class stay on campus but relive history and the education of students in the 1800's.
Becky also orchestrates the annual Veteran's Day Assembly. She has made this the "best one around" according to the attendees. Students are able to give witness to her love of country and service personnel. This nurtures patriotism within the students, which is the goal of every history teacher. Love of country and those who have served are Becky's passion.
When students enter the middle grades, they still recall all of the fun that they had learning in Becky's class. They call it the field trip/activity year. They remember the historical facts they learned in the 4th grade because Becky brought history alive to them.
What a blessing to have a teacher who brings so much to her students. We're glad the state recognizes what we've known for years. (Top photo: Three award winners, bottom photo: Chery Shanker (l) with Becky Feagan (r).