The world is Malcolm MacKenzie’s classroom in the Marcus Whitman School District. The veteran Middle School Teacher is getting a News 8 Golden Apple Award.
Mr. MacKenzie takes his Marcus Whitman Middle School students outside whenever he can. Principal Clayton Cole says he’s taught generations of families here and everyone knows him. “He cares about what he does, it’s a deep seeded passion. He cares about the families in the district. He cares about the kids.”
acKenzie is creator of the district’s ECO program. ECO stands for Environmental Classroom Opportunities. And whether it’s a game of kick ball at recess, camping overnight or a day of kayaking, he believes kids learn by doing.
Middle School Band Teacher Matt Bond wanted Malcolm to be recognized. “And I was thinking that when these kids are older, when they’re 45 and 50 years old, they’re gonna think about school and I know most of them are gonna think about Mr. MacKenzie. He’s created a memory.”
Mr. MacKenzie believes when kids experience new things, and then write about them, that knowledge stays with them all their lives. “All of us grew up through experience. And experience has always been the primary educator for any of us. Through all the years that’s how people learned is by doing and by seeing people around them doing things and asking questions about it and trying it out.”
He says it’s important that kids have time to play. “Again when we’re kids how do we learn? We play. Playing allows our kids to get out, get some exercise, fresh air, and work with each other in different situations. And playing always keeps you alive.”
Malcolm MacKenzie is a News 8 Golden Apple Award winner. We’ve published Matt Bond’s nominating letter below.
Dear News 8,
Mr. MacKenzie has been teaching over 35 years, He has established the ECO at Marcus Whitman. Which is short for Environmental Classroom Opportunities. Please check out his school website: http://www.mwcsd.org/MiddleSchool.cfm?subpage=6117
He has built this program from scratch. Comments from his students are: He pushes us to be our best. Highlights to the year include—- camping, hiking, kayaking, cross country skiing….. with a rigorous classroom writing component that compliments the outdoor opportunities.
It is difficult to describe ECO without experiencing the class. The website contains so much more information. Mr. Mackenzie is one of the finest educators I have worked with in my 23 years of teaching. He comes in early and stays late. He puts his students learning above everything. He has created a program that allows any student to thrive with hard work.
Once students meet and interact with Mr. MacKenzie the memories he creates will forever be remembered. I think it is time that his talents are recognized outside the Marcus Whitman community. I urge you to consider him for a Golden Apple Award. Thanks,
Matthew Bond, Teacher