Teacher, Hope Street Academy, Topeka, Kansas
Thomas Fulbright has been teaching social studies at Hope Street Academy in Topeka, Kansas since 2008. He earned both of his degrees in social studies education from the University of Kansas, where he met his wife, with whom he has three wonderful daughters.
In addition to his regular teaching duties, Thomas continuously tries to develop as a professional and help other teachers do the same. He does this in part by attending programs such as those run by BRI and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. He also helps other teachers grow through his work on USD 501’s social studies curriculum and assessment team, serving as the current Kansas Council for the Social Studies President, and contributing lesson plans to the Bill of Rights Institute, including this recent eLesson on the history of U.S. Trade policy.
Thomas is proud of being selected as the 2018 Kansas History Teacher of the year by Gilder Lehrman. However, he is most proud of having two of his history students help him deliver a presentation on his pedagogy during the 2018 Kansas Civic Advocacy Conference.
And his biggest challenge? Besides trying to convince students that what he is trying to teach them is more important than what is on their smartphones, it’s “the overarching goal,” Thomas says, “of trying to prepare students to become citizens who can think critically, act with compassion, and ultimately take informed action.”