CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Susan Long, a fifth grade teacher at Union Elementary in Upshur County, has been named the 2011 West Virginia History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the History Channel and Preserve America.
“Great history teachers like Susan Long take required material and turn it into a personal experience for their students instead of relying on lectures and textbooks," said state Superintendent of Schools Jorea Marple. "We congratulate Susan on this honor.”
Long, who has 23 years experience in the classroom, is part of a team of teachers who wrote and received an Innovation Grant for Union Elementary. She also has been a participant in West Virginia’s summer humanities seminars for teachers in 1993, 1996 and 2002.
Long will receive a $1,000 honorarium and will be in the running to be named the National History Teacher of the Year this fall. Union Elementary School’s library also will receive a core archive of history books and educational materials from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the History Channel. Long also will receive an invitation to a Gilder Lehrman summer seminar and Union Elementary will be named a Gilder Lehrman Affiliate School.
“This award gives us the chance to recognize great history teachers across the country,” said Lesley S. Herrmann, executive director of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. “It puts exceptional educators front and center.”
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.
The 2011 award honors elementary teachers of kindergarten through sixth grade. The selection of the state winner is based upon several criteria, including: at least three years of classroom experience in teaching American history; creativity and imagination in the classroom that address literacy and content beyond state standards; close attention to primary documents, artifacts, historic sites, and other primary materials of history, including oral history; and evidence of thoughtful assessment of student achievement.
For more information, contact Joey Wiseman, social studies coordinator at the West Virginia Department of Education, at (304) 558-558-5325, or the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.
Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.