The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, cable-television channel History, and Preserve America today recognized Fairfax County educator Abigail O. Seeley as the 2015 Virginia History Teacher of the Year. Seeley teaches at Orange Hunt Elementary School in Fairfax County. VDOE history specialist Betsy Barton presented the award today during a reception at the school where Seeley has taught for 12 years.
Seeley teaches United States History to 1865. She is an annual presenter at the Virginia Council for the Social Studies Conference and the Fairfax County Public Schools Academic Diversity Institute. Seeley has taught at Orange Hunt Elementary since 2002. She earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Mary Washington and a master’s of elementary education degree from George Mason University.
“Abby Seeley is known for providing lessons that accentuate the uniqueness of each student,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples said. “Students in her classroom often review historic documents and other primary sources to develop critical-thinking skills and to understand history through a variety of perspectives of past events.”
The Orange Hunt Elementary School teacher was one of 27 nominees for the award and was selected for the honor by a committee of educators and historians from the Library of Virginia, the University of Virginia, the Virginia Historical Society and Virginia Union University.
Seeley received a $1,000 award from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, History cable channel and Preserve America and is the commonwealth’s nominee for the National History Teacher of the Year Award to be announced later this year. In addition, the Orange Hunt Elementary School library will receive a collection of history books and reference materials from the Gilder Lehrman Institute.
Seeley is the 11th educator to be honored as the commonwealth's top history teacher.
Founded in 1994 by Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is a nonprofit organization devoted to the improvement of history education. Information about the National History Teacher of the Year award can be found at http://www.gilderlehrman.org/programs-exhibitions/national-history-teacher-year.