IB educators across the world awarded for their services to education

In the past few months, IB educators across the world have been selected to receive awards for their efforts as educators. We extend our warmest congratulations to these teachers and their schools, as well as to all the nominees of these awards, and take a look at some of the winners.

Social studies teacher Freebird McKinney has been named the 2018 Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year. McKinney has been an educator for 13 years and is currently teaching World and European history at Williams High School, North Carolina, USA. Superintendent Bill Harrison said in a letter supporting McKinney’s nomination that his students are not passive participants: “They are actively engaged. Freebird is a true teacher leader and the type of teacher we would all want for our own children.” 

Tim Messick, Elementary School Principal at the American School of The Hague (ASH), Netherlands, was selected to receive the 2018 National Distinguished Principal Award. The award is sponsored by the National Association of Elementary School Principals in the United States. ASH’s School Director Rick Spradling says: “Mr. Messick’s selection results from the input of a great many nominating letters enumerating his achievements at our school, including his interactions with teachers, support staff, leadership team and parents, but most of all for his deep and genuine love for the students under his care and supervision over the years at ASH.”

Laurie Crawford, teacher in Indigenous education at École Secondaire L’Héritage in Cornwall, Canada, has been recognized by the Government of Canada and won a Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence. Crawford was recognized among other things for her great commitment to her students and community, for being instrumental in L’Héritage becoming an accredited IB World School and for organizing Indigenous community awareness activities.  

Elementary School Principal Jon Smithies at the American School of Bombay (ASB), India, has been selected to receive the National Distinguished Principal Award, sponsored by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). Smithies was recognized among other for his efforts to create an elementary school that is developmentally responsive to young learners and for supporting teachers through professional development both on and off campus, and for his efforts to individualize the educational experience for students, parents and staff.

Wilbur Winkelman, teacher at Lakeview Elementary in Robbinsdale, Minnesota, USA, has been named Robbinsdale Area Schools’ 2018 Teacher of the Year. Winkelman focuses on creating a strong learning community inside the classroom. “Every day your personal best is different. And it’s my job to figure out where it is and how to help you get there,” he says. “It’s a classroom built on community. It’s how we hold each other accountable and how we move forward as a group.”


Do you know of someone else who has won an award? Let us know! Go on social media, tag your message with #weareib and we’ll feature it on our site.