Beaufort High teacher earns national honor for geography

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A Beaufort High School teacher has earned top honors from the National Center for Geography Education.

Debi Kidd, a 22-year veteran of Beaufort County’s public schools, was one of only 13 teachers nationwide to be named a 2014 Distinguished Teacher of geography.  Kidd teaches Advanced Placement Human Geography, World History and Teacher Cadets. She is Beaufort High’s social studies department chair, acts as the Interact Club advisor and is a national grader for Advanced Placement tests.

“It was a huge honor, and I was pleasantly surprised,” said Kidd, who was recognized with the other 12 teachers at the National Center for Geographic Education’s annual conference in Memphis. “My hope is that this recognition will give me a platform to stress the importance of geography education in America’s schools. Today more than ever before, our kids need to know how the world works and how people and cultures interact with one another.”

Kidd also coaches Beaufort High’s teams that compete in the district’s annual Academic WorldQuest Competition, sponsored by the Hilton Head Island World Affairs Council.  Beaufort High teams coached by Kidd have won the last two competitions and represented the county at the national competitions in Washington.

“Debi Kidd is the kind of teacher who makes her school and her entire district proud,” said Superintendent Jeff Moss.  “She’s an inspiration to her students and to other teachers, and we’re thankful to have her here.”

University of South Carolina geography professor Jerry Mitchell nominated Kidd for the national honor.

“This year alone, Debi devoted nearly the entire month of June — her personal vacation time — to training and professional development,” Mitchell said.  “Her dedication to her profession is extraordinary.”

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