CHARLESTON, W.Va. _ Lynette Swiger, a third grade teacher at Monongah Elementary School in Marion County, has been named the 2007 West Virginia History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and Preserve America.
Swiger teaches history in one of her many integrated units by encouraging her students to research and study the roots and evolution of traditional Appalachian music. Children learn to play simple tunes on lap dulcimers, which she received through a grant for her class.
"Great history teachers take required coursework and turn it into a personal experience for today children," said state Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine. "Instead of just telling a story about our past through lectures and textbooks, she encourages students to discover their heritage themselves.”
Swiger will receive a $1,000 honorarium and a core archive of history books and materials donated to the Monongah Elementary School library by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. She is now in the running for the National History Teacher of the Year Award.
Inaugurated in 2004, the History Teacher of the Year Award is designed to promote, celebrate and encourage the teaching of American history in classrooms across the United States. It honors one exceptional teacher of American history from each state and U.S. territory.
This year, only kindergarten through sixth grade teachers were eligible for nomination. State winners must have at least three years of experience in teaching American history; a deep career commitment to teaching American history; provide evidence of creativity and imagination in the classroom that addresses literacy and content beyond state standards; pay close attention to documents, artifacts, historic sites and other primary materials of history; and show evidence of thoughtful assessment of student achievement.
“This is a great honor for Lynette, her school and her county,” said Regina Scotchie, social studies coordinator for the West Virginia Department of Education in Charleston.
For more information, contact Regina Scotchie at (304) 558-558-5325 or the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.