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DMS teacher wins $2,000 ING Unsung Heroes program grant
Katy King

Davis Middle School art teacher Katy King was named one of 100 winners nation-wide in the ING Unsung Heroes program. She won $2,000 for her proposed program, "Within Our Own Backyard: Exploring Arabian Mountain National Heritage Trail."

One of the winning programs in the 2013 ING Unsung Heroes competition was submitted by Kathleen King, a visual arts instructor at General Ray Davis Middle School in Stockbridge, was recognized as one of the nation's most innovative educators. She will now compete with other winners for one of the top three prizes - an additional $5,000, $10,000 or $25,000 from ING U.S.

"Within Our Own Backyard: Exploring Arabian Mountain National Heritage Trail", King's winning program idea, is designed to elevate students' understanding of the importance of the National Heritage Trail. Students will be exposed to landmarks, history, culture, environments and life along the trail. Through a hands-on approach, visual arts students will have the opportunity to make pottery in the style of the early Creek Native Americans and create large paintings based on their sketches of the Arabian Mountain Heritage Trail. They also will have the opportunity to learn about the animal and plant life that flourishes in the area and the historic farm culture that is found along the Trail. In addition to discussing the Native American Creek
inhabitants that thrived along the South River, they also will visit one of the early slave cemeteries found along the Arabian Mountain Heritage Trail. King, who lives in Covington, hopes her students will be positively impacted by learning about the rich history within their own backyard along the Arabian Mountain Heritage Trail.

For the past 17 years, the ING Unsung Heroes program has honored educators across the country who work tirelessly - and often without much recognition - to make a lifelong impact in the classroom for their students. Winning programs over the years have provided outstanding educators the opportunity to bring to life their innovative and engaging teaching methods and ideas for their students. Many teachers develop new educational methods and creative programs, but run up against the wall of limited funding. Through the ING Unsung Heroes program, ING U.S. has recognized and helped fund these great ideas for nearly 20 years.

"ING U.S. is honored to salute these outstanding teachers for their innovative ideas and dedication to America's youth," said Jamie Ohl, president of Tax-Exempt Markets for ING U.S. Retirement Solutions.

ING U.S., a leading provider of retirement plans and programs for teachers, began the ING Unsung Heroes program in 1996 to demonstrate the company's commitment to the education community. Over the years, the program has awarded more than $4 million to 1,800 kindergarten through 12th- grade educators for their innovative teaching methods, creative educational projects, and ability to positively influence the children they teach.

The 2013 ING Unsung Heroes winners were selected from a group of nearly 1,300 applications. To learn more about this year's winning projects, as well as those from previous years, go to More information about the program can also be found on the ING Unsung Heroes Facebook page, Applications for the 2014 ING Unsung Heroes awards are currently being accepted through the website.