Granger's Stephanie King named Regional Teacher of the Year
Stephanie King, an English instructor and girls soccer coach at Granger High School, has been selected as the Educational Service District 105 Regional Teacher of the Year for 2019-2020.
King's big honor was announced by ESD 105 superintendent Kevin Chase during the Granger School District's pre-session orientation breakfast meeting on August 21. The local educator will serve as one of nine candidates for the Washington State Teacher of the Year title, which will be announced Sept. 9 in Seattle.
Since starting her teaching career at Granger High School in 2010, King has become known as a motivator and innovator for bringing college-level courses of study to Granger’s students, for connecting classroom instruction with community history projects, and for providing leadership to other teachers throughout the state in developing their college- and career-ready instructional skills.
The Granger High School teacher serves on the state leadership team of Bridge to College, a statewide initiative created by the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges to develop students’ skill preparation for college and their career. She has helped develop some of the program’s curricula and offers trainings to other teachers statewide in adopting Bridge to College in their own classrooms. King was even a presenter at the 2017 National Council of Teachers of English Convention in St. Louis, where she shared the work and impact of the Bridge to College program on rural school districts.
King introduced Bridge to College at Granger in 2015, a year after she brought the school its first-ever “college in the high school” course through the University of Washington. The “college in the high school” program allows students to earn college credits for accelerated-level classes at their school. She eventually adapted the Bridge to College curriculum for students in all of her 12th grade classes.
She further helps prepare her students about their future possibilities by having Granger High School alumni come into her classes to speak about life after graduation from the school.
Among the earliest college-level innovations King brought to her classes was the switchover she made to having her high school students use a college-level text titled “Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies,” which is about migrant farmworkers in the state of Washington. King decided to incorporate this book not only as a way to challenge her students academically, but to connect classroom instruction with her students’ families and cultures.
She also partnered with the Granger Historical Society to have her students write what has so far totaled more than 100 family histories that have been included in recent editions of the community group’s local history books.
Furthering her work to connect students with classroom material, King introduced a “linguistic autobiography” writing assignment in her UW “college in the high school” class. As part of this instruction, students write words and phrases they commonly use, and distinguish how they use that vocabulary in various settings.
The 2019-20 Regional Teacher of the Year’s list of contributions to Granger’s students also includes:
- Offering other Granger teachers professional development opportunities in reading skill development and creating intervention materials to assist those who have students who are performing below grade level;
- Coaching the school district’s middle school girls soccer team, in addition to her role with the high school girls varsity soccer program;
- Starting Granger High School’s Knowledge Bowl team;
- Sharing reading strategies with parents during Migrant Program Literacy Nights;
- Using the role she had as class advisor to help Granger’s 2018 senior class achieve a high number of college scholarship awards;
- Partnering with Granger’s Parks and Recreation Department to promote youth soccer activities; and
- Serving as advisor for the ASB, National Honor Society, and Link Crew.
This summer, King also joined the ESD 105 English Language Arts Fellows program, a statewide initiative that develops local teacher leadership in helping promote career and college readiness for high school students.
The Granger educator is one of four area teachers who were considered this year for the ESD 105 Regional Teacher of the Year title. Other teachers who were nominated and who completed application materials for the award were: Math teacher Geoffrey LaBrant of Sunnyside High School; special education teacher Kimberly Cook of West Valley High School; and 5th/6th grade special education teacher Charity Caprile of West Valley Middle School.