King E. Durkee

In 1957, King Durkee moved from Utah to work for the San Diego Union newspaper publication at the age of 39. He worked for Copley Newspapers until 1995 when he retired as the Director of Educational Services for Copley Newspapers in California and Illinois.  In the 1960’s, King Durkee pioneered and promoted the Newspapers in Education (NIE) program both nationally and in San Diego. NIE is a cooperative effort between schools and newspapers to promote the use of newspapers as an educational resource for improving reading, writing, and spelling among students. During his early years with the Copley Press Durkee directed the Coley Newspapers Editorial Training Program for all of the Copley Newspapers nationwide. King Durkee traveled throughout the country urging educators and newspaper editors to establish programs that would encourage students to read newspapers on a daily basis. As a result of his efforts there are now 950 active NIE programs in the country. NIE newspapers are delivered to forty percent of all students in the United States; 10,822,100 students in 105,855 schools. Currently, 380,633 teachers use newspapers in their educational instruction. Roughly 220 million newspaper are delivered to schools each year. Over the course of the past year 1,146 schools received newspapers, reaching 4,655 teachers and 176,890 students in San Diego and Imperial counties. Along with his NIE efforts, Durkee served as president of the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair for forty years. Under King’s leadership, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, held in San Diego in 1973, gained recognition as a model for science and engineering education throughout the country and world. The Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair now receives over 800 student entries in fourteen different categories a year. King Durkee also played a major role in establishing the National Students’ Spelling Bee in San Diego County. Durkee served as the Spell Master for the San Diego county spelling bee for five years and was responsible for researching every word used in the bee, including the origination of the word, meaning, and its use in a sentence. After a long established career, King Durkee accumulated many noteworthy programs to his record. He made a significant impact on education locally and nationally.  King Durkee is considered one of the foremost accomplished leaders in education. He continually made an effort to empower youth and inspire them to create bridges between their current education and their future careers. Thus, King Durkee truly is a “Remarkable Leader in Education.”