JACKSON, Miss. – Jackson State University Alumna Alexandria Drake received the 2023 History Teacher of the Year Award from the Mississippi Historical Society. The award is presented annually to an outstanding teacher of middle or high school history.
“I’ve seen firsthand her high level of professionalism, and her students speak highly of her,” said Interim Department Chair of Education and Human Development Doreen Myrie. “She’s training future educators who’ll teach history. It’s important that she’s teaching and leading by example; her high level of competency in the discipline and passion for the teaching profession.”
Drake is an adjunct professor of social science methods and ethnic survey in JSU’s College of Education and Human Development. She also serves on the COEHD’s Social Sciences Advisory Board engaging in activities to enhance the program.
Additionally, Drake teaches 10th-grade U.S. History at the Michelle Obama Early College High School Program at Tougaloo College.
“I’ve always wanted to be a history teacher. That’s why I decided to major in social science education. Even in high school, I knew that was a subject I really enjoyed and wanted to teach,” Drake said.
The 2014 JSU graduate has taught secondary social studies in the Jackson Public School District for six years. Drake began her education career at Murrah High School in 2016. She said she is passionate about teaching and finding new ways to enhance her craft to keep students engaged and excited about history.
“I’ve really worked on finding ways to make history come alive by building a partnership with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and having my students go to museums and participate in different workshops,” shared Drake, who added that she feels more honored and driven after receiving the Mississippi Historical Society reward early in her career.
She was also acknowledged for her services on the Mississippi Teacher Advisory Council for the Mississippi Department of Education, assistance with the initiation of the Mississippi History Day program at JPS, and for her presentation at the 37th MDAH Social Studies Teachers Workshop last year.
“Teaching history is a passion of mine and I think it’s needed now more than ever. I’m just thankful that there is an organization out there that recognizes the work that teachers are doing,” Drake said.
Drake credited Jackson State for preparing her to be a teacher calling it a seamless process. She said she appreciates her JSU professors s and praised the institution for being the “backbone” of JPS when it comes to educating students in Jackson and Mississippi.