Longtime GBS social studies teacher and debate coach Tara Tate is the recipient of many honors this year.
She has been named the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) National Citation Winner for Speech/Debate/Theatre Educators, and is one of five finalists for the National Educator of the Year Award from the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA). She has already been named the State Educator of the Year. A national winner will be named March 2.
Tara is currently the assistant director of the GBS Debate Society. She was the director from 2003-2013 before stepping down to spend more time with family. She has coached high school debate for about 18 years. She also helps coach the GBS Academic Bowl team and sponsors the Junior State of America club.
“Teaching is in my genes,” Tara said. “My mother was a high school speech and debate teacher, and my father was a professor of social sciences at our local university… I love teaching because every day is different. It’s rare to be in a profession where you learn something new every day, whether it is from your colleagues or from your students.”
Tara said she is “extremely humbled” to have received this honors.
“To be recognized by two different national organizations for what I have done with students over my career is very rewarding,” she said. “I’ve been involved in the NSDA since I was 14 years old, as a competitor in high school. I have essentially grown up with this organization, and I know that it is filled with thousands of outstanding educators from across the nation.”
THE NFHS Citation Award is given annually to individuals who have made exemplary, significant and longstanding contributions to high school sports and activities. There were 12 recipients this year.
In the classroom, Tara teaches Argumentation and Debate courses, Civics and AP Government. She said that she is very excited to roll out a new Civics course, which will be a graduation requirement for the Class of 2020 and beyond.
“This course will certainly focus on the nuts-and-bolts of how our government institutions work, and will also be an avenue to increase political efficacy with our students,” she said.
“I can’t imagining doing what I do in any place other than GBS,” Tara said. “I love being at a school that gives me the space and respect I need to find ways to be a better teacher every day. We have appreciative students, supportive administration and amazing colleagues.”