Troxell receives Governor’s Educator Discovery Award

Published 12:09 am Thursday, February 16, 2023

Debra Troxell, a social studies teacher at West Forsyth High School, was one of five educators from North Carolina to receive the Governor’s Educator Discovery Award. The Governor’s Educator Discovery Award is a stipend of up to $1,000 awarded to PreK-12 traditional public and public charter school teachers to pursue a professional development experience of their choosing.

“Our teachers work hard to nurture our students, and it’s important that we support their professional development,” Governor Cooper said. “This funding will help educators learn new skills to bring back to the classroom that will help students prepare for the jobs of the future.”

Troxell, in her 31st year as a teacher at West, attended the National Council for Geographic Education Conference in Minneapolis in October. At the conference she was able to attend sessions sponsored by Esri on GIS (Geographic Information Systems) technology, which is software used to create maps and display geographic data. This knowledge will allow Troxell to create interactive lessons using the same technology that professionals use for her AP human geography students, preparing them for a wide array of careers.

“I had been to the conference before but wanted to get something more this time than just some pre-packaged lessons for my students,” Troxell said. “What we have been doing shows them where to go and where to click and I wanted some higher level lessons to scaffold their learning while not overwhelming them and not taking up too much class time. I was able to come away from the conference with lots of great tips and suggestions on how to make things a little more challenging. I wanted my students to be able to see the next level of GIS and how it works.”

Troxell will get to experience another level of GIS herself in July when she visits Armenia to study the genocide going on in the country.

“I love my students here, love the people I work with and we have a great administration,” Troxell said. “I’m really lucky to be in the situation that I am in here.”