Alexandria educator Stacy Hoeflich today was named the 2011 Virginia History Teacher of the Year. Hoeflich teaches Virginia Studies at John Adams Elementary School in Alexandria. Betsy Barton, history/social science specialist with the Virginia Department of Education and Virginia History Teacher of the Year state coordinator, presented the award during a reception at the school.
A fourth-grade teacher for 13 years, Hoeflich is known for helping design lessons to benefit the culturally and ethnically diverse student population — representing families from more than 50 countries – at her school.
Through a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute, Hoeflich studied in Austria and later incorporated what she learned in the classroom. She, along with the school’s vocal teacher and students wrote, produced and performed three original and historically accurate operas on George Mason, Thomas Jefferson and Virginia’s Indians. In addition, Hoeflich participated in the Library of Congress’ Adventure of the American Mind and the Teaching American History grant that led to her involvement in online U.S. history web modules for George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media. Previous honors for Hoeflich include Mount Vernon Teacher of the Year and the Technology Integration Educator award.
"Stacy Hoeflich’s students dive into Virginia history and geography through experiential learning and hands-on classroom activities," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright. "Her creative approach to history instruction engages students throughout the year and prepares them for success on the SOL tests."
Hoeflich is the eighth Virginia teacher to be honored with this award. She will receive a certificate of recognition, a $1,000 honorarium and have the opportunity to participate in a Gilder Lehrman Institute summer seminar. Hoeflich is also the commonwealth’s nominee for the National History Teacher of the Year to be announced later this year.
In addition, the John Adams Elementary School library will receive a collection of history books and reference materials in Hoeflich’s honor.
The National History Teacher of the Year award (formerly the Preserve America History Teacher of the Year Award) annually recognizes a teacher in each state who demonstrates a commitment to teaching American history and goes beyond state standards while utilizing primary documents, artifacts, historic sites and other primary materials, including oral history.
The award is sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, founded in 1994 and offers scholarly seminars for K-12 teachers and National Park Service interpreters; Preserve America, a federal initiative that encourages and supports community efforts to preserve and enjoy cultural and natural heritage; and HISTORY (the History Channel).