Cortney Kosmala-Jackson, Cesar Chavez Academy High School, awarded 2013 Michigan Civic Education Teacher of the Yearwphungerford
Cortney Kosmala-Jackson, a master Civics teacher at César Chávez Academy High School in Detroit has been named the Michigan Civic Education Teacher of the Year. Ms. Kosmala-Jackson’s passion for her students and their development as responsible citizens is exemplary. She understands that in order to develop an engaged citizenry, it is vital to connect her students to community leaders and the world outside their classroom.
According to Brian Goodwin, César Chávez Academy Instructional Coach, “she stands head and shoulders above others in advancing our school toward the next level of achievement. Her efforts to improve her credentials are inspired by her fervent desire to present the best lessons for her students, as well as her desire to help each student to fulfill their own potential”
Ms. Kosmala-Jackson provides her students with many opportunities that connect them to community leaders and the world outside their classroom. Her students participate in the We the People program, a rigorous study of the Constitution and Bill of Rights which culminates with an event at the Michigan Capitol.
Recently, through Kosmala-Jackson’s efforts, César Chávez Academy High School became a member school in the Detroit Street Law Program, designed to encourage underprivileged students to consider a career in the law. According to Paul Zavala, an attorney at General Motors who participates in this program, there is one quality that places Ms. Kosmala-Jackson above other teachers. “Our experience has shown that Hispanic students are sometimes the most difficult students to engage in a high-level civics program. César Chávez High School’s student participation in our Program exceeds those of other member schools; a testament to her qualities as a teacher that she can motivate and relate to underprivileged Hispanic students”.
Ms, Kosmala-Jackson and her students also participate in the Youth Civil Rights Conference hosted by Wayne State Law School; visit the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan Courthouse in Detroit, and the Detroit Economic Club luncheons where they meet, ask question of and listen to speakers, usually elected officials.
Ms. Kosmala-Jackson understands the importance of being connected to other Civics educators. She has demonstrated this through his participation in and presentations at various professional conferences and in her role as a We the People 14th Congressional District Coordinator, as well as an AP U.S. Government and Politics Exam Reader (Scorer), and MEAP /MME item writer.
The award was presented by David Hales, Social Studies Consultant, Wayne RESA, and Board Member of the Michigan Center for Civic Education (MCCE) and Linda Start, Executive Director, MCCE at the Michigan Social Studies Conference co- sponsored by the Michigan Center for Civic Education. The Michigan Center for Civic Education is pleased to have honored one teacher as the Civic Education Teacher of the Year since 1984, said Start. “It’s not easy to teach the next generation of engaged responsible citizens with the ever narrowing curriculum and students who see daily examples of political polarization, incivility, and dysfunction.
The selection of teacher of the year is based on the following criteria:
Excellence in the instruction of civic/law-related education Involvement of students in civic and law-related education programs which give studentsthe opportunity to practice the skills of citizenship
Leadership in the teaching profession by promoting civic education
Effective use of community resource persons in support of law-related/civic education.
Founded in 1982, the Michigan Center for Civic Education is Michigan’s premiere non-profit, non-partisan organization serving the mission of promoting the development of engaged, responsible citizens through civic and law-related education. Serving on the Center’s Advisory Board are Attorney General Bill Schuette, Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael Flanagan, Michigan State Police Director Kriste Etue, and State Bar of Michigan Executive Director Janet K. Welch.
For more information contact Linda Start at 517-367-6422 or firstname.lastname@example.org.]]>