By Dr. Curtis Varnell
Any visitor to her classroom senses immediately that this is a teacher that loves her job and loves social studies. Numerous awards and plaques decorate her room, clearly demonstrating her abilities and her interest in teaching.
Mrs. Jessica Culver of Ozark has not been everywhere and done everything but she surely has made a dent in the process. She has been the Arkansas National History Day teacher, a U.S. Institute of Peace teacher, a member of the National Constitution Centers Advisory Council, a Fulbright Teacher of Global Classrooms, and a National Geographic Educator. Many of these awards provide recognition and the opportunity to travel to historical sites. In geography, they often say the best teachers are the ones that have seen and experienced the most. This is probably true of all social studies education. Seeing historical places and geography firsthand provides the teacher a world of experiences and stories to share with students. Mrs. Culver has been to Philadelphia and Congress Hall as well as the Liberty Bell. As part of the Fulbright Teachers, she visited Toronto and Quebec. Traveling to Washington D.C., she met with dignitaries, walked the halls of Congress, and visited the various National Parks areas. Having these experiences allows Mrs. Culver the ability to make social studies come alive in her classroom.
Mrs. Culver was recently selected, with a student, to participate in Sacrifice for Freedom program sponsored as a part of National History Day. She and her student Morgan will travel to Honolulu, Hawaii as part of the program. There they will share the stories of their hometown heroes as a part of the WWII memorial project at Pearl Harbor.
Jessica has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in social studies and education from ATU and teaches a concurrent history class for ATU-Ozark as part of her duties at Ozark High. With her expertise and experiences, she helps makes studying social studies exciting for her students in Ozark.