2014 National History Teacher of the Year Announced

Michigan high school teacher who led her students on an acclaimed oral history project named 2014 National History Teacher of the Year

New York, NY (October 30, 2014): HISTORY® and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History are pleased to announce that Westland, Michigan, high school teacher Michele Anderson has been named the 2014 National History Teacher of the Year. HISTORY® and The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History have awarded the National History Teacher of the Year Award annually since 2004. It highlights the crucial importance of history education by honoring exceptional American history teachers from elementary school through high school.

“HISTORY® is pleased to join with the Gilder Lehrman Institute in honoring outstanding history teachers through the History Teacher of the Year award,” said Dr. Libby O’Connell, Chief Historian and SVP, Corporate Outreach for HISTORY®. “Michele Anderson exemplifies the best in history education, and we are proud to help highlight her outstanding achievements.”

Michele Anderson is a teacher at John Glenn High School, a public school sixteen miles west of downtown Detroit. She has been lauded for leading her students on creative and original community outreach and oral history interview projects with World War II and Korean War veterans. Her work has drawn the attention and acclaim of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Library of Congress, and in 2013 Ms. Anderson received the Michigan Historical Commission’s John B. Swainson Award for her efforts to preserve the memory of Michigan’s defense workers and World War II veterans.

“Students get excited about history when somehow it becomes real to them,” said Ms. Anderson. “Teachers have to help students make connections between what the student is learning and how that piece of history relates to something in their life. As teachers, we call it the ‘aha’ experience.”

Each year, HISTORY® and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History recognize exemplary educators who use creative methods to make American history memorable through the use of primary source documents, artifacts, historic sites, guest lectures, and other resources. In addition to the national award, HISTORY® and Gilder Lehrman acknowledge a first-rate history teacher in each of the 50 states, Washington, DC, the Department of Defense Schools, and US Territories. Each state winner receives $1,000 and an archive of books and resources from Gilder Lehrman and HISTORY® for their school’s library, and becomes a finalist for the national award.

“Honoring a great history teacher is one of the most rewarding things we do,” said Lesley S. Herrmann, Executive Director of the Gilder Lehrman Institute, “because in celebrating Michele Anderson, we honor all teachers who inspire our children to learn about the people and events that shaped our country.”

Michele Anderson was selected for the National History Teacher of the Year Award from more than 1,000 nationwide nominees and was chosen by a panel that included Elaine Reed, former executive director of the National Council for History Education; University of Texas historian Jeremi Suri; 2013 National History Teacher of the Year Jill Szymanski; and Tim Bailey, Gilder Lehrman’s director of education.

As the winner of the award, Ms. Anderson will receive $10,000 and attend a ceremony in her honor in New York City. This year’s ceremony will take place at The Princeton Club on December 9, 2014. The award will be presented by historian Earl Lewis, former provost at Emory University and current president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

To learn more about the award and to find a list of previous national and state winners, visit gilderlehrman.org/nhtoy

About the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

Founded in 1994 by Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is a nonprofit organization devoted to the improvement of history education. The Institute has developed an array of programs for schools, teachers, and students that operate in all fifty states, including a website that features more than 60,000 unique historical documents in the Gilder Lehrman Collection. Each year the Institute offers support and resources to tens of thousands of teachers, and through them enhances the education of more than a million students. The Institute’s programs have been recognized by awards from the White House, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Organization of American Historians.

HISTORY®, now reaching more than 96 million homes, is the leading destination for award-winning original series and specials that connect viewers with history in an informative, immersive and entertaining manner across all platforms. The network’s all-original programming slate, including scripted event programming, features a roster of hit series including American Pickers®, American Restoration™, Ax Men™, Counting Cars™, Pawn Stars® and Swamp People® as well as HISTORY®’s first scripted series Vikings, and epic miniseries and special programming such as The Bible, The Men Who Built America and the Emmy® Award-winning Hatfields & McCoys, Gettysburg, Vietnam in HD, America The Story of Us® and 102 Minutes That Changed America. The HISTORY® website is the leading online resource for all things history, and in 2011, the United States Library of Congress selected HISTORY®’s Civil War 150 site for inclusion in the historic collection of Internet materials related to the American Civil War sesquicentennial. www.history.com. For more press information and photography, please visit us at http://press.aenetworks.com