Thermopolis Middle School’s Unsung Hero
Congratulations to Thermopolis Middle School teacher Kristin Ryan for being awarded an Unsung Hero Grant from Voya Financial. Through the Voya Unsung Heroes program, Voya Financial awards grants to K-12 educators nationwide to honor their innovative teaching methods, creative educational projects, and ability to positively influence their students.
Kristin’s innovative teaching idea, “TMS Living Wax Museum,” focuses on bringing history to life by hosting an event where students dress up as historical or local individuals who have made a positive contribution to society. In preparation, students research and write biographies, prepare 30-second speeches and create appropriate backdrops for their presentations. On the night of the ‘Living Wax Museum’ event, visitors can see historical figures brought “to life” through student impersonations. In the future, Kristin and her team hope to make this a global project where students record performances and interact online via webcam interviews. Ultimately, their goal is to share this unique way of experiencing history with people around the world.
Kristin is originally from South Dakota. She received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts Degrees from the The University of South Dakota. She has taught in West Virginia and South Dakota before coming to Thermopolis Middle School as the6th Grade Language Arts Teacher.
Selected from a group of more than 1,200 applicants, she is one of only 100 winners across the country who will receive this $2000 award to help fund and bring her program to life. In addition, she will now compete with other finalists for one of the top three prizes — an additional $5,000, $10,000 or $25,000 from Voya Financial.
Thermopolis is lucky to have Kristin Ryan, another great teacher and innovator, on the Middle School faculty.