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Eight-Year JPS History Teacher Nominated for International Award

June 11, 2024

Alexandria Drake

Alexandria Drake

Alexandria Drake, M.A., a U.S. History Teacher at the JPS-Tougaloo Early College High School Program was nominated for the . The prestigious award recognizes the best in teaching.

The nonprofit National History Day, was established in 1974 as a way to expand the teaching and learning of history. Each year, NHD hosts a national contest in which students can present original research projects. For the past 14 years, NHD has also sponsored the Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award and selected one middle school teacher and one high school teacher out of a list of candidates from throughout the nation and some international schools.

"I am honored to be a nominee for the Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award. I have been teaching U.S. History in JPS for eight years now, and I absolutely love it!" Drake smiled. "I enjoy exposing students to history that feels relevant and helping students to make connections between what we discuss in class and the current world around them. My goal is to help them think critically and grow to become informed citizens ready to take on the challenge of making our nation better."

Drake also ensures that all of her scholars are proficient in their knowledge of U.S. History, which is how the NHD award came about. She integrated National History Day into her curriculum to give students the opportunity to engage in project-based learning that would benefit them in college and beyond. 

"For National History Day last year, my students created a documentary that was featured at the National Museum of African American History and Culture," said Drake. "This year I have five students that have projects in multiple categories that have advanced to nationals in Washington D.C. I am so proud of the work that they have done and the connections they have made to history and themselves."

The eight-year educator had no idea she would be recognized for the way she utilized this learning tool for scholars. 

“The Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award nominees always represent the best in history education,” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “As NHD celebrates our 50th anniversary year, I couldn’t be more proud of these teachers. Every day, they demonstrate their commitment to excellence in teaching, the rigorous study of history and primary sources, and the creativity and drive to engage students all across the country and world in National History Day.”