Superintendent’s Memo #320-12

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

December 7, 2012

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  National History Teacher of the Year Award

The Virginia Department of Education, in cooperation with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, HISTORY™ (The History Channel), and Preserve America, announces the tenth annual National History Teacher of the Year Award.  This award honors exceptional teachers of American history across the country.  One finalist from each state, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense schools, and the U.S. territories is selected annually.  From these finalists, a national winner is recognized as the National History Teacher of the Year.

Any full-time elementary teacher who teaches American history, including local and state history, as his or her primary subject within the framework of his or her school program, and has demonstrated excellence according to the criteria governing the award is eligible for nomination.  Nominees will be evaluated on the following criteria:

Other notes about eligibility:

All nominations must be submitted on the Gilder Lehrman Web site at

Nominators must include contact information for the nominee and a short statement indicating why the nominee is an outstanding teacher of American history.  Nominations can be made by a student, parent, colleague, department head, principal, or superintendent.  The deadline for all nominations is Friday, February 1, 2013.

Shortly after they are nominated, all nominees will be contacted by e-mail and will be invited to submit supporting material to the Gilder Lehrman Institute office to be considered for a state award.  The following supporting materials are required from each nominee:

The deadline for nominated teachers submitting supporting materials to the Gilder Lehrman Institute is Friday, March 15, 2013.  Nominees will be asked to send most items electronically.

Each state winner will receive a cash award of $1,000 and the winner’s school will receive 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 the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

For additional information, please contact Betsy Barton, specialist for history and social science, Office of Humanities and Early Childhood, by e-mail at or by telephone at (804) 225-3454.  Additional information on the National History Teacher of the Year program is available at