Social Studies Educator Elected to Board of Directors of National Education Organization

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Silver Spring, MD – July 1, 2009 – Karen Burgard, a social studies department chair and classroom teacher at Harrisonville High School, Harrisonville, Missouri has been elected to serve a three-year term as the secondary teacher representative on the Board of Directors of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), the nation’s largest professional organization for social studies educators.

Burgard believes that at a time when we most need the democratic skills that social studies provides, it is most critical that all social studies teachers actively advocate to keep social studies from being pushed out of the classroom, at a time when we most desperately need the democratic skills it provides, she adds, “we must make a commitment to be leaders and advocates in social studies education by effectively teaching social studies in the classroom and advocating for it outside the classroom.”

A passionate and dedicated social studies educator, Burgard’s social studies teaching career spans more than 14 years. She has taught social studies at Harrisonville High School since 1996 and at various local university and colleges since 2001. A member of NCSS, Missouri Council for the Social Studies (MOCSS), and Greater Kansas City Council for the Social Studies (GKCCSS) since 2000, she has held various leadership positions at the state and national level, including president of GKCCSS and MOCSS, vice-chair of the NCSS Conference Committee in 2007, co-chair of the Local Arrangements Committee for the Kansas City NCSS Annual Conference in 2005, and co-chair of the NCSS Membership Committee.

Proactive in seeking opportunities to add depth to her content knowledge and teaching skills, Burgard has been awarded several fellowships, including the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Summer Seminar (2008), the Goethe Institut TOP Fellowship (2007), and the Fullbright-Hays Summer Fellowship (2005) among others. She received a B.S. in education from University of Missouri-Columbia (1994), a MIHE-Master of Integrated Humanities in Education from Rockhurst University (1999), a M.A. in education from University of Missouri-Kansas City (2002), and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Interdisciplinary Education/History at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

NCSS officers beginning their one-year term as of July 1, 2009, are Syd Golston (Scottsdale, AZ), President; Steven Goldberg (Hasting-on-Hudson), President-elect; and Sue Blanchette (Dallas, TX), Vice President. In addition, three other newly elected NCSS board members will begin three-year terms on July 1: Roxanna Mechem (Union, MO), Supervisor Representative; Jack Wilson (Eureka, MO), K-12 Classroom Teacher-at-large Representative; and Michelle Herczog (Culver City, CA), At-large Representative. Donald Gilmore (Denver, CO), was elected to the board of the Fund for the Advancement of Social Studies Education (FASSE).

Founded in 1921, the National Council for the Social Studies has approximately 20,000 members in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and 69 foreign countries. Membership includes K-16 classroom teachers, curriculum supervisors and specialists, curriculum writers and designers, and teacher educators. The NCSS serves as an umbrella organization for K – 16 teachers of civics, history, geography, economics, political science, sociology, psychology, anthropology and law-related education. Social studies is the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. The theme for this year’s annual conference in Atlanta, Georgia, November 13-15, 20089 is “Dreams and Deeds: The Civic Mission of Schools.”

A photograph of Burgard is available at

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