Local educators honored by Legislature for leadership in civic education
Legislators honored a select group of educators from around the state this week as a part of Civic Education Day on Presidents Day, including two locals – Professor T. M. Sell, a political science and journalism professor from Highline College, and Jennifer Muscolo, a 7th and 8th grade teacher at Pacific Middle School.
Both were recognized for their efforts to develop civically-minded students.
Sell, who has taught courses in political theory, government, and economics at Highline College since 1996, integrates into his curriculum regular trips to Olympia so that students can experience what government looks like in action. In addition to engaging students in the process, Sell encourages students to go into their community and learn through service by helping citizens register to vote and raise funds for local initiatives. Professor Sell regularly invites local municipal, county and state elected office holders to discuss their views with his students in the classroom.
Muscolo began her career teaching science, but gradually shifted to instruction in health and leadership classes. In her leadership courses, the key to success is allowing students the autonomy to choose which bills from Olympia they would like to analyze and then arranged to have her students present the testimony based on their research to Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Kent. “I was deeply impressed with the level of critical thinking skills and initiative her students demonstrated when I met with them at Pacific Middle School,” Keiser commented.
“Professor Sell and Jennifer Muscolo are outstanding examples of the kind of leadership we need to inspire civic engagement” said Keiser. “Meeting with their students, I am encouraged that they will remain alert and engaged with their communities and government.”