Tipton Teacher Wins State History Award
Dicus, who has been teaching for 33 years, travels around the state on her own time to find actors and speakers at festivals, fairs, and shows that convey a piece of Missouri's past. Last year, as a fourth grade history teacher, she then invited them to her classroom to interact with her students.
Going the extra mile was worth it to Dicus.
"That's why people teach, you know," said Dicus. "For the praise and the hugs."
Then, this summer, for all the work Dicus put into bringing history to life, she got something else back: the 2007 Preserve America History Teacher of the Year Award.
"This award is outstanding," said Bob Brinkley, the superintendent of Tipton Schools. "Mrs. Dicus is a very deserving recipient of this award."
Dicus applied for the award in the spring and found out in June that she had won. She received a $1,000 cash prize and an honorary plaque, which was presented at an all-school assembly two weeks ago. Tipton Elementary also received a gift of history books and materials to use for years to come.
Although she put herself out there by applying in the first place, Dicus doesn't claim all the credit for her award.
"You know, you're only as good as the people you work with," she said. "And I work with a lot of great people."
Dicus also says that having her own four young boys has helped her learn as a teacher because they are all different from one another.
One kindergarten through 12th grade history teacher in each state earns the Preserve America award each year for their involvement with students that spans beyond typical textbook course work and curriculum guidelines. The award was created nationally to encourage and support efforts to preserve a rich national heritage in a particular community. Teachers can do this by leading interactive activities, field trips, or bringing actors and speakers to class, like Dicus did.
Now, as the Missouri winner, Dicus is up against 49 other winners for the National Award, which will be presented in Washington D.C. or New York City later this year.
This current school year, Dicus is a reading reduction teacher, where she works one-on-one with first-grade students to help them learn the basics of reading. She also works at Saint Andrew's School in Tipton.