About the Jess McKee Award for Distinguished Service to Geography Education

Named for the Mississippi Geographic Alliance’s first Coordinator, Dr. Jess McKee, this award emphasizes the quality and character of the contributions to geography education, evidence of sustained effort on behalf of geography education, and the nature and extent of service to MGA. Any MGA member is eligible to receive the award. Service is broadly defined and can include:

  • Teaching
  • Service as a role model
  • Lobbying on behalf of geography education
  • Significant contribution in the training of teachers
  • Development of curriculum materials
  • Service to MGA or other professional organizations
  • Administrative activities that involve service to geography education
  • Papers and publications
  • Grants
  • Research

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2014 Jess McKee Award Winner

Mary Jane Jackson


A teacher consultant with the Mississippi Geographic Alliance since 1990, Mary Jane Jackson has been an instrumental leader in pre-service education efforts in 2- and 4-year colleges around the state. She has developed popular professional development workshops on geography and reading and has implemented those workshops for both pre-service and in-service teachers in Mississippi. Mrs. Jackson has been a staff member on a number of MGA institutes and workshops, and she has presented at the National Conference for Geography Education and other conferences around the state of Mississippi. She has taken on leadership roles within the Alliance including serving on the organization’s Steering Committee and serving as one of the state’s Geography Awareness Coordinators. In 2010, her student won a national video contest on Why Geography Matters. In 2011, Mrs. Jackson was awarded the National Council for Geographic Education’s Distinguished Teaching Award.

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2013 Jess McKee Award Winner

Martha Hutson



Ms. Hutson, Mississippi’s Teacher of the Year 1997-1998, has 28 years experience in K-12 public schools and 11 years experience teaching at the college level. She recently retired from teaching introduction to world geography, Mississippi history, U.S. history, and methods courses at Mississippi College. A charter member of the Mississippi Geographic Alliance, Ms. Hutson was trained at National Geographic Society, and was responsible for establishing much of the infrastructure for improved geography education in the state, including a robust and successful pre-service institute in geography for teacher candidates.

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National Council for Geographic Education -
MGA Award Winner

The National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE) honors exemplary educators around the country for excellence in geography education. The Mississippi Geographic Alliance is proud of the following award winners from Mississippi:

    2013
  • Patti Edwards - K-12 Distinguished Teaching Award
  • Steven White - K-12 Distinguished Teaching Award
    2012
  • Bert Nokes - K-12 Distinguished Teaching Award
  • Jan Stringer - K-12 Distinguished Teaching Award
  • Sandra Morgan – Outstanding Support for Geography Education Award
    2011
  • Martha Hutson – Higher Education Distinguished Teaching Award
  • Mary Jane Jackson – K-12 Distinguished Teaching Award

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