And the 2017 Martin Award for Innovative Teaching goes to…

Each year, King’s teachers from all grade levels are invited to nominate themselves or others for the Martin Award for Innovative Teaching. Since innovation is a quality shared by each member of our faculty, every year it is extremely challenging for our Martin Award Selection Committee to choose winners.

This year, three teachers won awards: Elise Sizer from King’s Preschool won for Photography and Story Telling and High School College Counselor Kellie Lewis and Teacher Ryan Crane won for the SEA Justice Conference. These teachers introduced creative, innovative teaching methods to help students understand concepts more fully.

Elise Sizer

Mrs. Sizer has seen tremendous growth in her students’ imaginations and more development in their sequencing abilities since she began a specialty preschool class called Photography & Story Telling. They started by learning camera basics and how cameras have changed over the years. Next, they used props to set up scenes from familiar books, such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and photographed each scene. They worked together to recall the story and create each scene building skills of memory, imagination and sequencing. After they recreated the book, it was their turn to write their own story repeating the steps they had learned. Each class now has their own published book that they created!

King’s Social Justice advisers, Mrs. Lewis & Mr. Crane, view innovation as a response to a need. In 2015, a group of their students attended The Justice Conference in Chicago. They quickly noticed that they were the only teenagers taking part and realized that more could be done to connect young people and inspire them toward meeting the needs of their communities. Thus, the idea for the SEA Justice Conference was born.

One year later, under the guidance of Mr. Crane and Mrs. Lewis, more than 40 King’s students turned their idea into a reality. Organizations like Seattle Pacific University, World Concern, Union Gospel Mission, Mary’s Place, MiiR, World Relief, The Seattle School, 30/30 Project and Hand in Hand signed on as partners in the effort. Spoken word artists, musicians, pastors and brave students shared pieces of their story from the main stage covering topics such as health care, homelessness, racial reconciliation, environmental justice and immigration. Through these sessions, students were able to identify ways to live more justly in relationships with others, the environment and the world’s most vulnerable. SEA Justice was designed to launch a platform that connects young people from around the Seattle area and mobilizes them to help meet the needs of their communities.

We commend these wonderful teachers for inspiring King’s students to broaden their views and equipping them with hands on learning opportunities that will strengthen their ability to find future solutions in whatever they pursue.

If you would like to add your gift to the teacher endowment, please go to