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May 2010  |  Return to issue home

College Alum Wins Pressly Prize


College alum Karen Grace was awarded the University of Washington history department’s Pressly Prize. Grace graduated from the Master in Teaching Program with an emphasis in social studies and is now department chair at Roosevelt High School.

The Pressly Prize, named for University of Washington emeritus professor of history Thomas Pressly and his wife, Cameron, recognizes outstanding teaching at the secondary level in the state of Washington. Nominations are accepted from former high school students, who nominate former teachers for excellence in teaching. This is highly unusual since the nominations come directly from students, not from peers, principals or superintendents.

George Behlmer, professor in the UW history department, elaborated on this history of this award.

“Pressly taught American history for nearly 40 years,” Behlmer explained. “Throughout his time at the UW he was mindful of the need for linkages between high school teachers of history and social studies and history teaching at the University. He was an activist in forging lasting connections and created the fund to memorialize high quality teaching at the secondary school level throughout the state.”

In addition to her reputation as a stellar teacher, Grace has “been pivotal in the district's current efforts to 'align' (standardize) the high school history curriculum,” explains College of Education Professor Walter Parker.

Her stellar teaching and leadership were recognized in an awards ceremony on May 10 at the University of Washington, Kane Hall.

Find out more about this award.

May 2010  |  Return to issue home

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