Education professor elected president of national organization

Tina Heafner, center, was elected president of the National Council for the Social Studies.
Monday, February 24, 2020

The Cato College of Education continues to broaden its influence nationally with the selection of Tina Heafner as president of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS).

Heafner, a professor in the Department of Middle, Secondary and K-12 Education, is a longtime member of NCSS and has held a number of roles and elected positions.

“My continued service to NCSS on national committees, task forces and grant projects, affirmed my commitment to national service and ultimately led to my decision to run for NCSS president,” said Heafner.

The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) is a nationwide professional association committed to advocacy and ensuring all students receive a high-quality social studies education. NCSS provides leadership, services and support to students and educators across the country at both the K-12 and university levels.

Thus far, Heafner has hosted the organization’s 99th annual conference in Austin, Texas. She was instrumental in organizing the largest support for first-time attendees in the history of the organization, which enabled 50 teachers across the country from low-income and majority-minority schools to attend with sponsored scholarships.

Heafner also assisted in making the first land acknowledgement by NCSS. The acknowledgement recognizes that “NCSS upholds the responsibility of ensuring a social studies education that respects and affirms indigenous peoples, nations and sovereignty, given that all education in the United States takes place on indigenous lands.”

She currently is developing a learning partnership with the European Union intended to “strengthen educators’ understanding of the EU and its commitment to democratic principles and collaboration.” 

For Heafner, this new role is yet another effort fueled by her conviction on the importance of the field.

“In the spirit of democracy, we must honor the champions of human rights, civility, diversity, equality, inclusion, sovereignty and justice. And we must recognize the critical role that social studies educators need to embrace in humanizing the curriculum, educating for empathy and action, and empowering children and youth agency, advocacy, and activism,” she said.

A champion for students of all ages and levels of education, Heafner, as NCSS president, will continue to use her role to influence the social studies education community nationally and advocate for positive and informed civic involvement.

Image: Tina Heafner, center, was elected president of the National Council for the Social Studies.