History Teacher of the Year

Sponsored by The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Preserve America,
and HISTORYTM (the History Channel)

                                       Qualifying Criteria/Eligibility
                                    Nominations and Applications
                                             Contact Information
                                 The award is co-sponsored by:                     


The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History conducts the National History
Teacher of the Year Award as part of its mission to promote the study and love
of American history. The award is sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of
American History, HISTORY™ (the History Channel), and Preserve America. Started
in 2004, the award celebrates outstanding American history teachers at the state
and national level. The National History Teacher of the Year is chosen from
finalists in each of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, Department of
Defense schools/U.S. State Department schools and U.S. Territories.

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Qualifying Criteria/Eligibility

The 2016 award is open to any full-time secondary educator in grades 7-12 who teaches social studies with a focus on American history (including local and state history). Teachers of elementary grades (K-6) will be honored in 2017. To view the criteria that will be used to select the state and national winners, click here.

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Nominations and Applications

NEW! The online nomination form will now be open year-round for any K-12 teacher. Nominated teachers will be considered in the year they are eligible for the award. Middle and high school teachers (grades 7-12) will be considered for the 2016 award and elementary teachers (grades K-6) will be considered for the 2017 award.

All nominations must be submitted on the Gilder Lehrman website 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, supervisor
(including department head, principal, superintendent, curriculum director), or
other education professional familiar with the teacher’s work.

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2014 State Winner:

Marci Olsen, Desert Shadows Middle School, Scottsdale Unified School District

State Winner

State winners will be announced and honored at local ceremonies. State
winners receive:

  • A $1,000 award
  • Certificate of recognition
  • Collection of American history classroom resources, given in
    honor of the state winner, for use in the school library or resource center
  • The opportunity to participate in a GLI summer seminar
  • The opportunity for his or her school to become a GLI
    Affiliate School

National Winner

Each state winner is a finalist for the national award. A panel of
judges will review the state winner applications and select the National
History Teacher of the Year who will be announced in the early fall
2015. The national winner will receive a $10,000 prize and a trip to the
fall awards ceremony with two of his or her students.


Contact Information

Arizona Department of Education
1535 West Jefferson Street, Bin 2
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Tel: (602) 364.1972
Fax: (602) 364-1532
Program Coordinator: Sarah Accardi
[email protected]