P.O. BOX 2120



March 4, 2005



Division Superintendents



Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction



Preserve America History Teacher of the Year Award


The Virginia Department of Education, in cooperation with the Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History, announces the second annual Preserve America History Teacher of the Year Award. This award will honor exceptional 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 for nomination. Winners will be selected based on the following criteria:

       At least three years of experience teaching American history;

       A deep career commitment to teaching American history;

       Evidence of creativity and imagination in the classroom; and

       Close attention to the use of documents, artifacts, historic sites, and other primary materials of history.


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

       The nominees curriculum vitae;

       A full letter of nomination outlining the candidates career achievement and specific evidence of his/her excellence as a history teacher; including effectiveness in improving students knowledge of American history;

       One letter of support from the candidates immediate supervisor;

       A one-page statement of the candidates educational philosophy;

       A listing of American history courses taught by the candidate over a period of at least three years;

       A sample lesson plan not to exceed three pages;

       A sample extended project assigned to students, demonstrating use of primary document, artifacts, historic sites, etc.; and

       A short video demonstrating a classroom-teaching segment (maximum of 8-10 minutes).

Please submit an original and four copies of written materials.


Nominations should be submitted to the following address no later than April 22, 2005:


Betsy S. Barton

Virginia Department of Education

P.O. Box 2120

Richmond, VA 23218-2120


Each state winner will receive a cash award of $1,000 and a plaque honoring the individual 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 the 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, please contact Betsy Barton (, history and social science specialist, at (804) 225-3454.