Alumna Featured as “Hero in the Classroom”

Julia King in the classroom

Julia King, ESIA BA ’08, is one of the 50 featured teachers in Katrina Fried’s book, American Teacher: Heroes in the Classroom, which is set to be released on Oct. 12, 2013.

The goal of American Teacher is to give readers greater exposure to the public education system, and to inspire teachers, administrators, and policy makers with the stories of the featured professionals.

Although King did not plan to make a career in public education, her interest in the field began in a GW classroom, where she learned about institutionalized disparities in the education system as part of a wider theme of social justice. From there, she went on to serve in the Teach for America (TFA) corps in Gary, Indiana at one of the lowest performing schools in the state.

King’s story with TFA was a success—the one-time president of GW’s Alpha Phi chapter became the recipient of the Sue Lehmann Excellence in Teaching Award. This award is given annually to only one elementary school teacher in the TFA corps of 6,000+ members.  Some of King’s innovative teaching techniques and methodologies have since been incorporated into TFA’s training sessions.

After her two year commitment to TFA ended, King moved back to Washington, DC and began teaching at DC Prep.  In 2013, she was named the District of Columbia’s Teacher of the Year for her work in 5th and 7th grade classrooms at DC Prep. King currently serves as the assistant principal at Benning Middle Campus of DC Prep’s network of public charter schools.

Currently, DC Prep is 98% African American, 80% low income and only 45% of its students are performing at grade level, giving King the opportunity to continue addressing the issue of educational disparities that first got her interested in the field.

–Alec Nadeau

Julia King has previously been profiled on this site in a Class of ’08 Spotlight piece, and in a feature on her Teacher of the Year award.  You can view her video interview with American Teacher here.  For more information on the book, visit:

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