In receiving the Bexley Education Foundation's 2018 Bexley Educator of the Year Award, Bexley High School social studies teacher Scott King-Owen said he credits his students, his colleagues and the school district for his success.
"My students make it possible for me to do what I do," King-Owen said. "This is an environment that brings out the best in folks."
Bexley High School staff and parents and BEF board members surprised King-Owen in his classroom with the award April 25. On May 9, King-Owen will be recognized publicly and presented with a $1,000 award and an engraved, commemorative apple at the BEF's annual meeting.
The Educator of the Year Award is presented annually to a Bexley educator whose leadership, dedication, achievements and commitment to the classroom and the community have made a difference in children's lives, said BEF Executive Director Pamela Glasgow.
In nominating King-Owen for the award, parents, colleagues and former students describe him as a brilliant teacher who cares deeply for his students. Known as "DKO" (for Dr. King-Owen), he has been known to break out in song or act out a scenario to engage students in his U.S. history and African-American history classes.
"He's one of the most passionate, caring, hard-working and outstanding teachers on our education staff," Glasgow said. "He shows extraordinary dedication to his students, and they adore him. They describe him as genuine and a great mentor and teacher. He's also admired by his co-workers, who view him as someone who's deeply knowledgeable about the subjects he teaches."
A native of Brevard, North Carolina, King-Owen received bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of North Carolina and a doctorate from Ohio State University. He was a graduate teaching assistant in the history department at OSU. He previously taught in the New Hanover County Schools in North Carolina before he coming to Bexley in 2011.
Beyond the classroom, King-Owen serves as the faculty adviser to the school's Social Justice Club and the Gay-Straight Alliance. Along with his social studies department colleague, Michael Featherstone, King-Owen was part of a recent program for students titled, "Americans Up in Arms: Political and Psychological Perspectives on Gun Violence."
Featherstone was the 2014 recipient of the Bexley Educator of the Year Award.
In the community, King-Owen presented his research on local African-American history during a program hosted by the Bexley Minority Parents Alliance at the Bexley Public Library in December. He is also an active member of the Bexley Choral Society.
King-Owen said the support of his husband, Shawn Grogan, enables him to devote himself to education. King-Owen said the most rewarding part of his job is making a difference in students' lives.
"I really like when I connect with my students on a personal level," he said, "and they confide in me about their lives -- what worries them, what they plan to do after they graduate."
The selection committee for this year's award was chaired by BEF board member Drew Stark and included members of the BEF Board of Governors, representatives from Capital University and the community. The award is funded by the Glick Family Endowment for the BEF at the Columbus Jewish Foundation. For more information, visit bexleyeducationfoundation.org.