History Teachers Making History

Posted: April 07, 2004
Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Education is sending out a call for history teachers to apply for the “Preserve America History Teacher of the Year” award. This is a national program sponsored by Preserve America and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to honor outstanding teachers of American history across the country. History teachers at every level, from elementary through high school, are eligible for nomination. Winners will be chosen based on several criteria: • A deep career commitment to teaching American history • Evidence of creativity and imagination in the classroom • Close attention to documents, artifacts, historic sites, and the other primary materials of history • Above all, demonstrated effectiveness in improving students' knowledge of and enthusiasm for American history. Any fulltime teacher K-12 may be nominated who teaches American history as their primary subject and has demonstrated excellence according to the criteria governing the awards. Nominations can be made by a department or division head, or a school director, principal, or head.  

Nominations must include: • A full letter of nomination outlining the candidate's career achievement and specific evidence of his/her excellence as a history teacher. • The nominee's curriculum vitae. • Supporting materials, which may take the form of specimen lessons, examples of student work, statistical evidence of student progress, longitudinal reports, narrative accounts of specific projects and initiatives or supporting letters from students, families, or other educators. Nominees are encouraged to provide a short video introducing themselves and any aspect of their teaching they wish to present (maximum of 8-10 minutes).  

Nominations and all supporting materials must be postmarked no later than April 30, 2004. State winners will be announced and honored at local ceremonies in June, and the National Preserve America History Teacher of the Year will be honored in early Fall in Washington, D.C.  

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History will grant each state winner with an award of $1,000 and a plaque honoring them as "History Teacher of the Year" in a ceremony in their home state. The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History will also present their school with an archive of primary historical materials, named in honor of that teacher, for use in the school library or resource center. Winners will be selected in each state by panels of distinguished history educators under the supervision of Preserve America and the Gilder Lehrman Institute. The program will be conducted in cooperation with the National Council for History Education, Organization of American Historians, and other history organizations.  

The "National History Teacher of the Year" will be selected from the 50+ state winners, (including the District of Columbia, Department of Defense and U.S. Territories) by a panel of prominent historians. The winner, together with the nominating supervisor, will be flown to Washington, D.C. for recognition in a ceremony there.  

Address all nomination letters and supporting materials to the West Virginia State Coordinator:  

Sharon Flack Coordinator – Office of Instructional Services West Virginia Department of Education 1900 Kanawha Blvd. East, Building 6, Room 330 Charleston, WV 25305 Phone: (304) 558-7805 Email: sflack@access.k12.wv.us  

Any questions about eligibility or procedures should be addressed to the State Coordinator.  

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