Volume 5 • Issue 1 2007 spring Home
Historical Commission honors teachers
stephanie baptiste
Steffany A. Baptiste, recipient of a 2007 Mildred Barry Garvin Prize.
  Steffany A. Baptiste and Brenda C. Brooks are the recipients of the New Jersey Historical Commission’s 2007 Mildred Barry Garvin Prize for teaching about black history.  The award of $1,000 is given annually to a New Jersey educator for exceptional work in making New Jersey students more knowledgeable about the African American past.  The award was presented at the 27th annual Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series on February 17, 2007.  First presented in 1995, the award is named in honor of Mildred Barry Garvin (1926-1993), a member of the New Jersey General Assembly and the New Jersey Historical Commission.  

   Ms. Baptiste is a special education teacher at the Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School, Summit New Jersey where she has revised the black history content of the school’s seventh-grade social studies curriculum. She has also spearheaded Black History Month projects that have included such activities as musical tributes, African arts displays, renaming each school hallway after a famous black American, and profiling black inventors.  She is currently a doctoral candidate at Rutgers University.

   Ms. Brooks is a social studies teacher at the Eastern Intermediate High School, Voorhees, New Jersey, where in addition to her teaching she serves as the advisor to the African-American Cultural Club, and has crafted various productions that celebrate Black History Month. She in particular has made students aware of black historical figures in such fields as music, dance, and film.  She has also used her classes in United States History and World History to emphasize information about the black past not normally covered in high school history textbooks.  Brooks has degrees from Howard University and Miami University of Ohio.