P.O. BOX 2120



March 12, 2004



Division Superintendents



Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction



Preserve America History Teacher of the Year Award



First Lady Laura Bush has announced the creation of the Preserve America History Teacher of the Year award. This award will honor outstanding teachers of American history across the country. One finalist from each state, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories will be selected annually. From these finalists, a national winner will be recognized as the National Preserve America History Teacher of the Year.


Any full-time K-12 teacher who teaches American history as his or her primary subject and has demonstrated excellence according to the criteria governing the award is eligible to be nominated. Winners will be selected based on the following criteria:

        A deep commitment to teaching American history;

        Evidence of creativity and imagination in the classroom;

        Close attention to documents, artifacts, historic sites and other primary materials of history; and,

        Demonstrated effectiveness in improving students knowledge of and enthusiasm for American history.


Nominations may be made by a department or division head, a division superintendent, or a principal, and must include:

        A full letter of nomination outlining the candidates achievement and specific evidence of his/her excellence as a history teacher;

        The nominees curriculum vitae; and,

        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 should be submitted to the following address no later than April 30, 2004:


Virginia Department of Education

Attention: Colleen C. Bryant

P.O. Box 2120

Richmond, VA 23218-2120


Each state winner will receive a cash award of $1,000 and a plaque honoring him or her as the History Teacher of the Year. The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History will present the winners school with an archive of primary historical materials in honor of their state winner.


Winners will be selected by a panel of distinguished history educators under the supervision of Preserve America and the Gilder Lehrman Institute. The program is conducted in cooperation with the National Council for History Education, the History Channel, and the Organization of American Historians.


For additional information contact Colleen C. Bryant (, history and social science specialist, at (804) 786-4640.