BELTON, Texas — A Central Texas educator is getting national recognition this summer as a North Belton Middle School history teacher has been awarded statewide twice as an outstanding teacher.
Whether it's the Bill of Rights or westward expansion, Elizabeth Howson doesn't just teach her eighth graders history, she brings it to them. With costumes, hands-on activities, and classroom props she immerses students in the material.
"Even when it's the hard stuff in history to read, they want to do it in a way that's gonna be memorable," Howson said. "I think creating those core memories for them in a class is so important."
This summer, Howson won the statewide Betty Barringer Outstanding Middle School Teacher award.
She's also the finalist representing Texas for the national Gilder Lehrman History Teacher of the Year award.
"There's hundreds of thousands of amazing teachers, especially in Texas too," Howson said. "I was like, 'Ah!' like I still don't even know how to react when I think about it."
Eighteen years into her career Howson said she's learned a lot from the challenges in the last three of them alone.
"With COVID, because some things were so hard, we work together way more," she said of the more collaborative nature of her and her peers.
Her principal, Michelle Tish is celebrating Howson's work to grow and adapt as her time at Belton ISD goes on.
"I am so thankful that our students have a teacher—an award-winning teacher. There's only one of them this year that's won these awards and our students get to have her," Tish said.
Howson shares her creative classroom with teachers and families from all over via her Instagram, "Howson History." She said it has given her an additional way to meet and connect with other educators and share ideas.
Now, Howson is looking forward to a fresh set of faces set to walk through her door in just a few days.