Kathleen King of General Ray Davis Middle School in Stockbridge has been named Distinguished Educator of 2017.


On March 30, Governor Nathan Deal signed a proclamation declaring April 23-30, 2017, as “Holocaust Days of Remembrance” in Georgia. By Law, the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust is charged with holding an annual remembrance observance for the victims of the Holocaust.


King will be recognized as the Distinguished Educator of 2017 on April 28 during the 2017 Days of Remembrance ceremony in the State Capitol.

The Distinguished Educator of the Year award is presented to a full-time Georgia educator of grades 5-12.  This educator demonstrates excellence and creativity in the development and presentation of lessons or activities which focus on the Holocaust, human rights, civil rights, or character development. They motivate students to become responsible citizens and active members of their communities. King is a visual arts teacher at General Ray Davis Middle School where she has been teaching since the school opened 11 years ago. She was encouraged to apply for the award by fellow teacher, Caroline Snell, who was previously named Distinguished Educator of 2011.

Ms. King has high expectations for all her students. She provides innovative and engaging instruction including providing students with opportunities to use art to have a positive impact on the community." - Randy Goerner, Principal of General Ray Davis Middle School 


King's parents were both art educators in DeKalb County. Her mother taught middle and elementary school students for over 30 years. Her father went on to become a principal. She credits her upbringing as allowing her to use the arts to make interdisciplinary connections. She strives to provide her students the same opportunity, fostering creativity and good citizenship both in and outside her classroom.


I believe that my role as an educator is to prepare our students to be positive, contributing members of society. In our society, life does not separate itself into various disciplines. Life consists of overlaps and connections to all the disciplines." - Kathleen King


(Photo: Kathleen King, far right, with Mrs. Deal, who participated in the school's Empty Bowls Dinner as a contributing art guest. The school has hosted the dinner annually for six years, raising awareness and collecting non-perishable food items for hunger relief. Over the years, the project has impacted over 7,000 students and raised over $8,000.) 

Each year, King's lessons include community service projects. Her students have participated in projects assisting local food banks, environmental conservation efforts, and human rights organizations. They host an annual veteran commemoration that has been recognized by Governor Deal. They have worked alongside researchers from the Centers for Disease Control, state legislators, zoologists, and community leaders.


If I am only able to break through to one child and make a difference for the positive on how he or she treats another human being, then I am doing my job."


(Photo: Kathleen King, center, with her students during a clean-up event in which they remove trash from the South River.)


King's students have participated in the statewide Holocaust Learning Trunk Project by decorating trunks. For years, the annual Creative Arts Student Contest has included entries from her students.


King has been previously named the Veterans of Foreign Wars Teacher of the Year, Fox 5 television's Atlanta High Five Teacher of the Year, and a state finalist in the 2013 and 2015 Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators for which she was recognized at the White House.