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2013 NCSS Election-Candidates

In keeping with the constitutional provision for nominating candidates for the board of directors, the nominations committee named candidates for four board of directors categories to serve three-year terms. The committee named two candidates for vice-president. Each nominee was asked to submit a photograph, a 200-word biographical sketch, and a 200-word position statement. These items are printed here and the text is unedited, except for changes to conform to a standard format.

The NCSS board election is conducted online through a Internet election service. Voting opens February 1, 2013 and closes March 15, 2013 at 11:59 pm Eastern Time. Individual NCSS members of good standing as of December 31, 2012 will receive instructions on voting by email.

smarrow.gif Candidate Speeches from the 2012 House of Delegates Candidates Forum (recorded November 2012.)

Vice President

Michael Boucher

As a Minneapolis Public Schools teacher for 18 years, Michael has taught
all of the social studies, served as department chair and been a program
coordinator. He has taught middle school, high school, online courses,
adult diploma, GED, and social studies methods. Previously, Michael was
president of the Minnesota Council for the Social Studies and is
currently president of the Indiana Council. As a state teacher/leader
and former NCSS board member, he understands the commitment of
continually being an advocate for social studies education. When the
Governor sought to implement a set of standards that specifically
excluded NCSS and the Minnesota Council, Michael led MCSS to build a
coalition that wrote an alternative set of standards, and then worked
with legislators to pass them. When the same Governor tried to divide
Minnesota social studies teachers into separate disciplines, MCSS fought
to keep a single license. Working with a dedicated board of directors,
MCSS came back from a financial crunch to solvency. Michael continues to
work on behalf of social studies education while pursuing his Ph.D. and
as an Instructor at Indiana University. Michael loves traveling to new
places with his wife and son, and reading history books in a hammock.

Position Statement

As the curriculum was narrowed and social studies marginalized under
NCLB, teachers labored to bring authentic and meaningful citizen
education to American students. Now that many of the most onerous
provisions are being lifted, teachers are looking for guidance and
advocacy in this new world of even more responsibility and
accountability. For nearly one-hundred years, NCSS had continued to be
the preeminent organization fighting for social studies teachers, and
aiding them to be more effective in the classroom. Yet, with budgets
squeezed and teacher salaries frozen, we have lost membership and
attendance at conferences. Our State and regional affiliates are
struggling to meet today's challenges and create new opportunities for

The future of NCSS is in the hands of young teachers who bring energy,
curiosity and vitality to the organization. Along with professional
development and advocacy, NCSS builds the next generation of leaders in
the field. To shape a strong foundation, we should reach out to young
teachers, mentoring them through personal contact, social media, and
online tools. NCSS has a rich history of being on the forefront of
support for teachers. Our challenge, going into the future, is to
continue that tradition and form a new, lasting, legacy.

Kim O'Neil


Kim O'Neil, past president of NYSCSS and CNYCSS, is a candidate for the
vice-president position for the National Council for the Social Studies.
Kim is currently serving her second term on the Board as the elementary
representative. During her tenure she has held annual meetings with her
Congressmen on Capitol Hill to discuss the ill effects the 2001 NCLB
legislation continues to have on the teaching of social studies at the
elementary and secondary levels. She has served as co-chair of the
International Visitors' Task Force, is a member of the editorial board
for the Young Learner publication and of the review board for the NCSS
Notable SS Trade Books. She is a co-author of the 2012 Goethe Institut
curricular materials and serves as the outreach teacher liaison for the
Moynihan Institute Center for European Studies at Syracuse University.
Kim is a National Board Certified teacher and has taught for 35 years as
an elementary and middle school teacher in Liverpool, NY.

Position Statement

The most significant issue facing social studies education today is the
resounding effect that the 2001 "No Child Left Behind" legislation
continues to have on social studies education across the United States.
Never have I felt a direct impact of national legislation in my
classroom as I have since NCLB was instituted. I continue to see changes
reverberating at the district, state, and national level. Because of the
requirement to give yearly tests in ELA, math, and science, and to
publish the results in local newspapers, many administrators across the
US are instructing teachers to focus on these subject areas only.
Without the inclusion of social studies as an equal core subject in the
legislation, social studies education will continue to be marginalized
and leave the classroom entirely. How can we promote and maintain our
democratic system without teaching citizenship? As educators we must
work diligently to keep the teaching of social studies in classrooms
across the United States for it is the foundation of our democratic
system. Our challenge is to make our legislators aware of the
ramifications of the 2001 NCLB as it is currently written. As a board
member of NCSS, I have met with Congressional aides who were completely
unaware that social studies was being marginalized! I will continue to
support the efforts of NCSS to educate our political leaders and keep
the membership aware of current legislation. Without the inclusion of
social studies in a future revision of The Elementary and Secondary
Education Act, the inevitable negative impact on our democracy is truly

Elementary Classroom Teacher

Kimberly Heckart


Kimberly Heckart has focused on teaching in learning for the past 22
years. She graduated from Truman State University in 1990 with a BSE in
Elementary Education. Later she received her Reading Endorsement from
Iowa Wesleyan College and her Master's Degree in Elementary Education
from Viterbo University. She currently teaches third grade in the
College Community School District in Cedar Rapids, IA, and Elementary
Social Studies Methods at the University of Iowa. Kim has been a member
and presenter of both ICSS and NCSS since 2001. She was named Elementary
Social Studies Teacher of the Year of both ICSS and NCSS and Gilder
Lehrman Teacher of the year in 2007. She is actively involved with
educational programs of two local museums, Brucemore and The
African-American Museum. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with
her family, a daughter attending the University of Iowa, a son who is a
junior in high school, and her husband. They all enjoy traveling,
especially to historical places. Reading, scrapbooking, and gardening
are hobbies that keep her busy. Kim continues to strive to be a
life-long learner and activist for her students.

Position Statement

One of the most significant issues facing social studies education is
the lack of emphasis on such a critical subject. With state and national
pressure of high-stakes testing, social studies has been deemed by
administrators as the subject that can be "left out" since it is not
"reported". More than ever students, teachers, and administrators need
social studies as an avenue to encourage a context of belonging to a
country where the greater good can and will prevail. Social studies
provides a means to connect to their heritage, build a sense our
country's foundation of freedom and democracy, a sense of history, and
gain 21st Century Skills to succeed in the our global world. As
educators, it's our duty to make connections across the curriculum and
enhance the opportunity for socials studies to be taught. I would
address this issue by continuing to advocate for cross-curricular
professional learning communities within schools, integration of
literacy strategies into social studies, educate teachers "how" to teach
social studies with content and strategies, and actively involve
students in service learning and community projects to build basis for
21st Century Skills. United we must stand to advocate for the future of
our students with social studies at the forefront.

Ruth King

Ruth King photo final_0.jpg

After completing my teaching degree from Brigham Young University and
receiving my state 1st-8th grade teaching certificate for Utah, I
began my career teaching at Windsor Elementary in Alpine School
District. There I taught all the elementary subjects to 5th graders
in a Spanish Immersion program. Through the 26 years in which I have
taught, all in either 5th or 6th grade, my emphasis in my classroom
has been to find ways to integrate all the subjects with each other,
with a special emphasis on social studies.

I am a member of the Utah Council for the Social Studies (UCSS) and the
National Council for the Social Studies. In March of 2011, I received
the Utah Council for the Social Studies Elementary Teacher of the Year.
In December, I was honored to be named the National Council for the
Social Studies Outstanding Elementary Teacher of the Year for 2011.

Currently, I'm a fifth grade teacher, I'm serving as a member of the
Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Mentor Advisory Group,
the secretary of and steering committee member for the Utah Geographic
Alliance, and a master teacher/ in-service trainer for the Alpine School
District's Teaching American History Grant.

Position Statement

For me, the most significant issue currently facing social studies
education at the elementary school level is the idea that social studies
is not as important as other academic subjects taught in the school
day. Some suggest that social studies should not be given equal status
in our daily instruction time, as well as in professional development
opportunities and support for teachers. Another misperception is that
educators cannot effectively and efficiently teach literacy skills and
strategies through the content of social studies (history/geography).

It has been my experience, throughout my twenty-six year teaching career
in the classroom, that these subjects must and should be integrated, to
not only provide our students with balanced instruction, but also to
encourage and support all learners. It is imperative that we show how
much we value our history by giving it, and all of the social studies
curriculum, sufficient time and support in our instruction/learning time
with the students.

Secondary Classroom Teacher

Mikki Maddox


Growing up in a family with a deep love and respect for history, I
literally lived the discipline of history and social studies,
participating in pre-1840 rendezvous reenactments from about the age of
three through my high school years and living in a log cabin deep in the
woods for most of my life. This instilled in me not only a love of
social studies, but also a desire to have others come to know what I
know—that history is alive within us and we are, indeed, the creators of

This passion led me to a career in education. I graduated with a degree
in Broadfield Social Studies/Sociology and have been a high school
social studies teacher for fourteen years in a small, rural school
district in central Wisconsin. I have also been a part-time technical
college instructor of sociology and economics.

I value the opportunities I have received to better prepare my students
for their roles as global citizens. I look forward to working at the
national level to advocate for social studies education and for a
reassessment of the importance of social studies in building an engaged

Position Statement

The most significant issue facing us today is the political devaluation
of our discipline. We are losing our importance as core curriculum.
This is being seen in elementary schools across the country, as class
time once dedicated specifically for social studies is being shortened
or eliminated altogether in favor of more reading/language arts or math
time. While there is no argument that these skills are extremely
valuable for young people to learn, there seems to be little discussion
outside our social studies circle about the importance of the life
skills and knowledge students will not receive as a result of their lack
of social studies preparation. We need to develop a more forceful voice
on this issue.

As a member of state social studies committees, I have looked over lists
of skills developed by global skills advocacy organizations. Most of
these critical skills for the 21st century global citizen directly
related to social studies. Why is this not our battle cry? We need to
use this and other research to promote social studies in a fresh way.
Social studies skills are keys to future success.

Anton Schulzki


My name in Anton Schulzki and have been teaching for 30 years in
Colorado Springs. I currently teach as part of the International
Baccalaureate program, and serve as our schools Advanced Placement
coordinator. Through the years I have taught a wide range of social
studies classes and have been an active leader in the building and
district. I was department chair for 12 years and helped to develop
curriculum for the school and district. I became very active in helping
to develop assessments for Colorado, my district and school. I served on
the 2006 NAEP United States History Exam review panel. My work with
these assessments led me to become far more involved with NCSS. In the
past years I have presented at state, regional and national conferences
on a variety of topics. I was elected to the House of Delegates in 2008
from the Canada Community. I was honored to be elected to Steering
Committee for the House of Delegates in 2009 and served as the chair of
the Steering Committee at the annual conference in 2010. In 2011, I was
appointed to the Colorado Council board of directors and serve as their
delegate to the House of Delegates.

Position Statement

In this second decade of the 21st century, NCSS needs to look to the
future with a clear vision. We need to come together as social studies
educators to view that futurewith a renewed sense of purpose. We must
continue to make our vision clear to the public, politicians and most
importantly among ourselves, and our voices heard loudly, clearly and
collectively. We have developed new ways ofreaching out to our students
through new technologies, yet, at times, we fail to reach out to each
other and decision-makers at every level. I would like to help NCSS
reach out to all constituencies including current members, and more
importantly, new teachers. I am eager to develop the type of mentorships
that will lead to innovative ideas in the classroom, using experience
and exuberance to be truly transformative. Our vision for the future
must move our disciplines to the forefront and become the leaders of the
educational debate. The year 2020 will be on us before we know it and we
need to look to that year and beyond with 20/20 vision. I want help lead
NCSS look to that date and beyond and appreciate your support.

K-12 Classroom Teacher At-Large

Beverly Smith


This is my 28th year as an educator. I have taught every social studies
subject except Psychology and Sociology. I currently am the Secondary
Social Studies Curriculum Specialist for Lovejoy ISD and have been in
this job for the lastseven years. My involvement with social studies
organizations began with the Texas Council for the Social Studies over
25 years ago. Since that time I have been committed to furthering the
cause of social studies at the state and local level. My local
affiliation started with the Plano Council for the Social Studies where
I was a founding member and officer for many years. When Plano hosted
the TCSS conference I was a member of the Exhibits committee and the
entertainment committee. When I came to Lovejoy I started the Lovejoy
Council for the Social Studies. In 2009, the Lovejoy Council hosted the
TCSS conference in Dallas. I was the conference chairperson for this
event. We were a small group (21 members), but mighty. Currently, I will
assume the presidency of the Texas Council for the Social Studies in
January 2013. I have contributed to The Texan the TCSS membership
publication and was named the TCSS 2006 Middle School Teacher of the
Year. I have also been president of the Texas Social Studies Supervisors
Association. I am a longstanding member of NCSS and NSSSA. I have
attended numerous NCSS and NSSSA conferences. I have also presented at

Position Statement

Legitimizing social studies across the country especially in the
elementary grades has become a concern. Due to high stakes testing in
the elementary grade schools for ELA, Science, and Math, Social Studies
seems to have been forgotten. In Texas, many elementary schools don't
even teach social studies and if they do it is maybe a 10 minute sketch.
What needs to happen is a way to bring social studies back into the
elementary grade levels. Perhaps this could be done with a legitimate
program that truly integrates social studies into the curriculum at the
elementary level. A true integration perhaps with ELA where social
studies is being taught and made important while teaching english.
Elementary teachers need to be supported in this effort with
professional development that includes skill building and content for
social studies. When this is done the transition to implementing solid
and viable lessons in the curriculum will be the norm and students
moving into middle school will have a much better footing in meeting the
rigorous demands and standards at the secondary level.

Charles Vaughan


Charles Vaughan, a National Board Certified Teacher, holds a BA in
Secondary Social Studies Education from Coastal Carolina College (now
University, 1992), an MEd in Secondary Social Studies Education from the
University of South Carolina (1996), and a Doctor of Education in
Curriculum and Instruction from USC (2012). His dissertation research is
centered on the an analysis of Southern political, cultural, and
historical contexts of official social studies curriculum standards. He
has taught middle school (1994-2000) and high school (2002- present) in
Richland School District Two in Columbia, SC, and his teaching
assignments have included World Geography, South Carolina History, World
History, Global Studies, International Studies, and AP Human Geography.
Recognizing that not all students learn the same, he has been involved
in virtual high school instruction for virtual institutions in South
Carolina, Louisiana, and Oregon. He is involved in various social
studies professional organizations (SC Council for the Social Studies,
SC Geographic Alliance, NCSS, NCGE, NSSSA) and has been a presenter at
various district, state, and national conferences. Presentation topics
range from incorporating geography across the curriculum to running a
classroom using Web 2.0 tools. Vaughan has also been involved in
standards development in SC.

Position Statement

The Great Recession has witnessed a tightening of budgets, and teachers
are being asked to do more with less. Caught in the scramble for
disappearing funds are social studies teachers who are often denied
leave to attend professional development that is crucial for growth. In
the near future, I see the need for professional organizations to need
to develop "just in time" professional development opportunities for
teachers through the use of virtual workshops in order to meet
individualized needs of teachers. Social Studies teachers are also going
to have to make the case for the continued relevancy of their content
while at the same time juggling over-crowded classrooms and students who
need increasingly more specialized attention from us. While
well-intentioned, it has been proved that NCLB had many unintended
consequences, among them reduced instructional time for social studies,
and an over-reliance on standardized testing. With pending
reauthorization of NCLB and Race to the Top, it will be vital for social
studies teachers to be vocal about what needs to be revised and included
in this legislation.


Elizabeth Hinde


I started teaching elementary school almost 30 years ago. My philosophy
and perspective have been shaped by those years. After 20 years in an
elementary classroom, I became a university professor. My collegiate
work is informed and motivated by those years as a schoolteacher. My
passion for teaching and social studies led me to serve at state and
national levels in social studies organizations and initiatives. As
treasurer, vice-president, and president of the Arizona Council for the
Social Studies, I led efforts to enhance and promote social studies. As
teacher consultant and leader in the Arizona Geographic Alliance, I
helped design the GeoLiteracy programs and studied their effects on
reading achievement. (Teaching social studies increases student
achievement in reading.) My work in geography and on Our Courts — now — showed me the benefits and potential of technology in
teaching and learning. I served as delegate for many years in the NCSS
House of Delegates and on many NCSS committees, most recently as chair
of the Steering Committee. All of these experiences and others have
allowed me to work with teachers from all over the country and world. It
would be an honor to serve on the Board of Directors.

Position Statement

The marginalization of social studies, the need for more resources, and
the lack of adequate preparation of some social studies educators are
among the most frequently cited issues facing social studies. However,
they and many other issues are symptoms of the broader problem: that is,
an overall misunderstanding of and lack of appreciation for the mission
and vision of social studies education. Everyone, from parents to
principals to legislators, agree with the core mission of social studies
— once they understand what it is. It is time to become stronger
advocates for social studies, or for our particular field of social
studies (social justice, geography, civics, history, economics, etc.).
Lobbying legislators is one way, of course, but the strongest impact we
can make is in our own schools, homes, and businesses, with our
colleagues, administrators, and parents. We need to help them understand
that what we do and who we are advance not only social studies
education, but also the most important mission of the schools in
general: to prepare informed, rational, humane, and participating
citizens of our country and the world. Having a strong, unified voice
for social studies is the best way to face the issues confronting us

Shannon Pugh


Shannon Pugh spent her childhood in Alaska, Louisiana, and California
before completing high school and college in Texas. Her first teaching
position was in rural Mississippi where she taught middle school science
and social studies. After three years in Mississippi, Shannon returned
to Texas and taught sheltered (ESOL) world geography, AP World History,
and AP Macroeconomics at W.T. White High School in Dallas ISD. While in
Dallas she became involved with the Dallas Council for the Social
Studies and served as both the secretary and president. During her time
with the Dallas Council her main focus was providing professional
learning and networking opportunity for DISD social studies teachers.
While in Texas, Shannon earned National Board Certification in Adult
Young Adolescent Social Studies and was the high school finalist for
DISDÆs Teacher of the Year. Shannon currently works in Annapolis,
Maryland where she is the Secondary Social Studies Teacher Specialist
for Anne Arundel County Public Schools. She presents at local, state,
and national conferences where her primary focus is on world history and
other global topics. She is active in local historical organizations and
served as the Co-Chair of the 2012 NCSS National Conference in
Washington D.C.

Position Statement

In a massive effort, over the past decade, to increase test scores,
educators across the nation have grappled with providing increased time
on task for the development of language and math literacy to the demise
of science, social studies, and the arts. Recent STEM initiatives have
put science back on the docket but no where are we seeing the social
studies star rising. School administrators and curriculum designers ask
how is social studies supporting math and reading achievement. The
realities of the 21st century demand that we "flip" this paradigm and
revise that question to how are reading and math literacies essential to
understanding social studies. Educators and policy makers must come to
terms with the absolute essential learning and real world relevance
inherent in social studies. It goes beyond history, geography, economics
and civics even as these areas are fundamental. We must be committed to
developing the democratic ideals of deliberation, dialogue, critical
thinking, and shared responsibility…we want to raise our children as
"heirs to a tradition of increasing liberty and rising hope!" (Rorty,

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