Bonnie Hickman

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Faculty Bio:


Bonnie Hickman


Patterson Elementary School

Bonnie Hickman is a 30-year public school educator in the Gilbert District (28 with 6th graders). She has a BA in Liberal Studies and her MEd is in “Curriculum and Instruction” from the University of Illinois- Champaign. She attended the James Madison Legacy Project teacher training for “We the People” in the summer of 2017 and the knowledge she gained there has changed her teaching focus. Previously, she has had her students involved in interviewing Veterans for the Library of Congress; Veterans History Project along with community action projects. 

Bonnie’s students participated in the We the People State Showcase in January 2018. Four months later,  she and 12 of her 6th grade students were on their way to Washington, D.C, to compete in the Invitational for “We the People.” Upon returning, she submitted papers to run for the House of Representatives in Arizona. The unsuccessful bid was a blessing in disguise as she was/is not ready to leave her classroom just yet. 

Her school, Patterson Elementary in Gilbert, was the first school in the district to be recognized for “Excellence in Civic Engagement” by the Arizona Department of Education for the 2018-19 school year.

In 2019, she led her class through “Project Citizen” in which her students decided that something needed to be done about the lack of guidelines and the danger electric scooters pose in communities. Her 6th graders contacted all 90 Arizona legislators, made appointments and met with 13 of them during the “Distracted Driving Summit” in January of 2019. The class was successful in helping get a law written by Senator Pace passed, defining what is an e-scooters and guidance for their use. 

Her classes also have published several comic books sponsored by the Governor’s Board of Highway Safety for “Red Means Stop.” The third installment about e-scooter and school bus safety is due out this year. (Vol 1 and Vol 2)

She would like to let teachers entering any of these programs to be aware of several things. First, you WILL find “your people” here; secondly, you will discover how to educate your students in civics and they will discover ways that they can disagree with each other, but not be disagreeable and lastly, when you think, “Someone should do something about this,” you will immediately remember that YOU are a “someone.” Welcome to the family!