Press Release from Coahoma Community College Public Relations; (662) 621-4061 - Brittany Davis-Green - firstname.lastname@example.org
CLARKSDALE – Although it took her a while to answer the call, Barbara Boschert always knew deep in her heart that she wanted to be a teacher. Now that she’s following her dreams, her undeniable passion for the field has landed her the prestigious honor of being named Coahoma Community College’s 2014 Humanities Teacher of the Year.
Each year the Mississippi Humanities Council recognizes October’s designation as Arts and Humanities Month by supporting Humanities Teacher Awards to one humanities faculty member at colleges and universities in the state. Boschert was selected as CCC’s honoree this year on the recommendation of CCC President Dr. Valmadge Towner and Dean of Academic Affairs Rolanda Brown.
A program held in Boschert’s honor is slated for 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 21, in the Gallery. During that time, Boschert will make a professional presentation regarding her work.
The title also carries a cash award as well as a complimentary ticket to the Mississippi Humanities Council Awards Banquet, Feb. 2015 in Jackson. There, Boschert will join other selected recipients from colleges and universities across the state in a special reception.
Towner referred to Boschert as the “prototypical faculty member” at Coahoma Community College.
“If the college had the capacity to instill certain attributes in all faculty members, members of our faculty would have some of Ms. Boschert's attributes,” said Towner. “She is accomplished, competent, diverse, passionate and unselfish. We are happy to celebrate the honor and recognition that one of our most capable faculty members will receive as a result of being selected as Coahoma's Humanities Teacher of the Year."
A Helena, AR native, Boschert graduated from Central High School before attending the University of Arkansas, receiving a bachelor’s degree in history and political science and later a law degree.
She practiced law in Arkansas and Mississippi before beginning her teaching career at Jonestown Elementary School as a first grade instructor. She moved to Higgins Junior High School and later Clarksdale High School where, in 2004, she received her National Board Certification—the highest certification a teacher can earn—in Social Studies. She recently recertified her national boards for another decade after teaching a 10th grade World History class at Coahoma Agricultural High School this past spring.
In 2008, Boschert brought her skills to Coahoma Community College as a American History and Western Civilization instructor and currently serves as the chair of the Social Science Department. “She has been a tremendous asset to the Division of Academic Affairs and very deserving of this prestigious honor. She’s a representation of the best that CCC has to offer,” said Brown. “Mrs. Boschert was chosen because of her dedication to the students as well as her dedication to teaching history itself.”
According to Brown, Boschert unselfishly volunteered countless hours at the institution during the summer. She also helped spearhead an initiative in which CCC instructors visit local high schools to mentor first-year teachers as well as provide tutoring and educational enrichment to high school students.
“Although she is currently a EdD candidate and is very active in the community, Mrs. Boschert always finds time for the students at Coahoma Community College,” said Brown.
The students are noticing Boschert’s unwavering commitment to education too.
“I’ve never had a teacher that appreciates me for being involved in the classroom before Mrs. Boschert,” said CCC Freshman Tommy Harris. “It feels good and makes me want to speak my mind and be really involved in what’s going on … not only in her class, but in my other classes too.”
According to Boschert, it was a college professor’s enthusiasm for the discipline and the excitement of his class activities that inspired her to focus on history, which includes a “heavy dose” of all humanities. She also recalled a history teacher at Delta State University who once stated that teachers need to have a reason, a reason that they were willing to die for, as to why it is important to study history.
“That really made me think about what students should take away from my class,” said Boschert. “I believe that knowledge of history and the humanities is critical to understanding our lives and the world around us.”
Students in Boschert’s class don’t simply recall historical facts; she strives for students to be able to analyze historical events and recognize the relevance to their lives and world affairs.
“Reading Apprenticeship, a metacognitive approach to teaching reading comprehension, is an important strategy because students make connections to self and the world,” said Boschert.
For example, recently students in Boschert’s Western Civilization I class read Plutarch’s description of a young Alexander training his great horse Bucephalus.
“Unlike the horse trainers, Alexander realized that Bucephalus was scared of his own shadow,” said Boschert. “Students recognized that it is important to be analytical and think critically and creatively in order to turn problems into opportunities.”
For Boschert, her “reason to die for” in studying and teaching history is the fact that she’s equipping student with the skills needed face life head-on.
“That’s what I want for my students. I want them to be able to analyze any given situation, think critically, and problem solve. I also encourage creativity. Creativity leads to out-of-the-box solutions that are a necessity for solving today’s complicated problems.”