P.O. BOX 2120



March 9, 2007



Division Superintendents



Billy K. Cannaday, Jr.

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 fourth 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, Department of Defense schools, 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 elementary school teacher who focuses on American history within the framework of his or her elementary school program 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 classroom experience teaching American history in elementary school;
  • A deep career commitment to teaching American history which includes local and state history;
  • Evidence of creativity and imagination in the classroom that addresses literacy; and
  • Close attention to the use of primary 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 rsum;
  • A letter of nomination that addresses the award criteria and includes quantitative measures of student achievement;
  • A letter of support from a colleague or immediate supervisor;
  • A one-page statement of the nominees philosophy of teaching American history;
  • A sample lesson plan not to exceed three pages;
  • A sample extended project assigned to students, demonstrating use of primary documents, artifacts, historic sites, etc.; and
  • An 8-10 minute video, which is not a class session, but a segment during which the nominee demonstrates class projects, and discusses his or her most effective teaching practices. Students are not present in the video.


Please submit an original and four copies of written materials.


Nominations should be submitted to the following address no later than April 20, 2007:


Betsy S. Barton

History Specialist

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.


For additional information, please contact Betsy Barton, specialist for history and social science, at or (804) 225-3454. Additional information on the Preserve America History Teacher of the Year program is available at