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This Week We Feature Award Winning History Day Teachers
National Teacher Appreciation Week was celebrated last week -- this important commemorative event also correlated with the State History Finals when two Washington state educators were honored with awards named for HistoryLink.org co-founder Walt Crowley.
Tricia Billes of Sequim Middle School was named the 2010 Walt Crowley Teacher of Merit. This award is presented annually to an outstanding History Day teacher who works with students in the National History Day program and demonstrates innovative teaching techniques in and out of the classroom.
In the 10 years since Tricia introduced History Day into Sequim schools, more than 50 Sequim students have advanced to the national contest. Under her direction, five Sequim projects have won medals at nationals, and one received the Civil War History Prize. At the state contest, the Outstanding School Award is given to the school with the most finalists on a ranked bases -- Sequim Middle School has won that distinction four out of the last six years. Tricia is the co-coordinator of the regional History Day contest in her area and serves on the state History Day Advisory Committee, a volunteer group that helps to guide the state program. She was also named as the winner of the 2010 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching History.
Washington state History Day Coordinator Lauren Danner noted, “Tricia is not in the business of creating historians; rather, she allows the power of history to inspire informed citizens. It takes a teacher of extraordinary talent to accomplish that goal.”
Matt Norling of Yakima’s West Valley Junior High School was selected to receive the 2010 Walt Crowley Teacher Mentor Award. This award is presented to a teacher with at least three years of History Day experience but who has never had the opportunity to attend the National Competition. The winner is selected by the History Day Advisory Committee from applications submitted by those who wish to attend National History Day for professional growth and development.
Matt has been a teacher for 20 years and introduced History Day at West Valley Junior High six years ago. The number of students participating in History Day has grown from five in the first year to 157 last year -- with 64 qualifying for the State Competition.
Matt is looking forward to attending National History Day so that he can share his experiences and new ideas with his students and professional colleagues at West Valley Junior High. In his application, Matt noted, “The best teachers share their experiences with their students in class, and that is what I plan to do. The skills learned from the NHD project can apply to all students, whether participating in the contest or not. The more experience and enthusiasm that I exude to my students, the better they learn to love history.”
Both Tricia and Matt received an airline ticket (compliments of HistoryLink.org and Alaska Airlines) to attend the National History Day Contest near Washington D.C., which will be held in June. As winner of the Washington State Teacher of Merit Award, Ms. Billes also will compete for the national PBS Teacher of Merit Award. In addition, HistoryLink.org has extended an invitation to Tricia and Matt to be our special guests at the HistoryLunch in September 2010.
There are many awards that identify and honor teachers who have displayed excellence in teaching Washington state history. Award descriptions and guidelines for submitting a nomination for a deserving teacher in your school system can be found in the Professional Recognition section of the Education Resource. For more ways to thank and remember teachers visit NEA – National Teacher Day or Teacher Appreciation: National Teachers Appreciation Week and Day
This photo of three HistoryLink.org winners was taken at the State History Day competition on May 1, 2010. On the left is Jacob Ziontz, winner of Senior Division HistoryLink.org Award for Outstanding Essay on Washington State History; at the center is Matt Norling, winner of 2010 Walt Crowley Teacher Mentor Award; on the right is Chris Wiley, winner of Junior Division HistoryLink.org Award for Outstanding Essay on Washington State History. The winning essays will be posted on HistoryLink.org in upcoming weeks. Photo courtesy Gwendolyn Schweitzer Photography 2010.
About the HistoryLink.org Education Resource
HistoryLink.org in partnership with Heritage 4Culture has developed an enhanced Education Resource featuring valuable curriculum materials and other important resources for educators and students.
Since its debut in 1998, HistoryLink.org has served as an essential education resource; educators and students make up over one-third of its traffic. These students and educators have told us they use HistoryLink.org because of its free, authoritative, and easily accessible content.
After 10 years, however, it was time to find out from these users how HistoryLink.org could further provide current and relevant Washington state education resources. Based on the input received from social studies teachers, librarians, students, museum educators, and others who regularly use HistoryLink.org for classroom and heritage projects, new resources have been identified, created, and posted. Curriculum and other heritage education projects developed through 4Culture Heritage Cultural Education Program are featured
HistoryLink.org is a constantly evolving website with new essays and timelines added weekly. The Education Resource is in its infancy and will be regularly updated with new content, curricula, and links representing organizations and individuals from across the state Washington. We encourage continued feedback on this page and its resources. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. with input, suggestions, and related projects. By becoming a subscriber to HistoryLink.org, educators will receive even more up-to-date information about new materials and resources for the classroom as they are added to this page.
Education Initiative – HistoryLink.org’s two-year project to update educational resources and to increase outreach to educators
What Educators are Saying – Educators from across the state respond to HistoryLink.org
Get Involved with HistoryLink.org – HistoryLink.org welcomes your input and collaboration on the Education Initiative