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Member Spotlight

Carol Ward

I have been a teacher at Windsor High School, in Windsor, Colorado, for 18 years. Prior to Windsor, I taught at La Junta High School in La Junta, Colorado for two years. Throughout most of my teaching career, I have taught World Geography, and I played a key role in bringing AP Human Geography to Windsor High School seven years ago. I have a true passion for geography, and I try to pass that passion on to my students. There are many things that can be done with geography in our daily lives, and I hope that my students acquire a love for geography.

I grew up traveling, as my dad was in the Army, and that is where my passion truly comes from. I love to learn about different cultures and different places. While living in Germany during my youth, we traveled almost every weekend to explore a new place, and I continue to travel with my family as time allows. I believe this was extremely influential when choosing Geography Education as my career.

I received my undergraduate degree in Geography Education from the University of Northern Colorado. While attending UNC, I had some amazing professors that really encouraged my passion for geography and travel. While I was in college, Dr. David Cole introduced me to COGA and sent me to one of their summer workshops, led by Dr. David Hill, and attended by teachers from all over the state. I have since been involved in COGA workshops, and I continue to put all of the training to good use in my classroom. I went on to earn my Masters in Integration Technology in the Classroom from Walden University. With the changing world of GIS and geospatial thinking, this degree has helped me incorporate new ways to teach geography. COGA has also helped me learn new ways to teach GIS and geospatial thinking through their workshops, which have enriched my teaching. I also employ real world technology in the classroom. I have used ArcGIS and other programs to help make geography come alive for my students. This year, we are trying a Windsor version of PokemonGo on our campus to bring the skills that are being taught in the classroom to the real world.

Since teaching AP Human Geography, I have been able to expose more students to an in-depth view of the constructiveness of the world. I have gained a new perspective of events around the world that I hope to pass along to my students. I want them to understand why and how events affect places differently, and how views of the world can be changed by understanding cultures and where people come from. I have learned from all of the AP Human Geography teachers at the annual Reading in Cincinnati, and bring  back that wealth of knowledge to my students. My students say that by taking my course, they have expanded their knowledge in ways that they never thought could happen in a geography class. To me, that is more important than what their score was on the exam. If I can get students thinking geographically, and enable them to see patterns in the world, I feel that I have made a difference in their lives.

Carol Ward