Margret Atkinson teaches gifted English and literature to sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders at Copper Mill Elementary and Northwestern Middle schools in Zachary.
Already a 2015 Teacher of the Year at NMS, Atkinson was recently honored with the 2015 Patricia Behring National History Day Teacher of the Year Award.
The award recognizes outstanding National History Day teachers committed to using creative teaching methods that interest students in history and help them make exciting discoveries about the past, according to the NHD organization, a nonprofit in College Park, Maryland.
On Oct. 20, the Zachary School Board honored Atkinson with a certificate of recognition for receiving the award.
Additionally, several of Atkinson’s students were honored for their participation in the National History Day competition, which requires students to conduct original research on historical topics of interest.
The contest calls for the students to create projects in one of five categories (exhibit board, website, documentary, performance and paper) and produce an annotated bibliography and a process paper.
To advance to the national competition at the University of Maryland, the Zachary students had to win first or second place at the state competition in April held at the World War II History Museum in New Orleans.
Honored alongside Atkinson at the Oct. 20 School Board meeting were: John Borg, Hayden Duplantier and Mikey Varnado, who won first place in state in the group performance category for their project “Nikola Tesla: The Electric Wizard”; Caleb Johnson, who won first place for his individual website, “Gandhi: A Better World”; Alexandra Barfield, second place state winner, for her exhibit “Walt Disney: His Impact on Modern Entertainment”; and David Robins, second-place state winner, for his individual website, “Nelson Mandela’s Impact on the World.”
“The students took ownership of their projects and ideas similar to an academic taking ownership of a dissertation,” Atkinson said. Each student received a certificate of recognition from School Board members.