History Teacher of the Year

Contact Information

Please visit the Gilder Lehrman website or contact the OSPI Social Studies Program.

The National History Teacher of the Year award honors any full-time educator of grades K–12 who teaches American history (including state and local history). Washington selects one state finalist annually as Washington’s History Teacher of the Year. State finalists compete for the national award.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, HISTORY (The History Channel) and Preserve America sponsor the national program.

Nomination Deadlines

  • Deadline for 2023 nominations: April 30
  • Deadline for 2023 nominees to submit supporting materials: May 31

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I nominate a teacher?

Administrators, colleagues, parents, and students can use the History Teacher of the Year nomination form. Self-nominations are not allowed and past state and national winners are not eligible.

How is the History Teacher of the Year selected?

Nominees submit supporting materials including essays, letters of recommendation, a resume, and a sample lesson plan.

A statewide committee reviews the supporting materials and recommends one teacher to the national program each spring. The National History Teacher of the Year is typically announced each fall.

What are the eligibility requirements?
  • The nominated teacher must have at least three years of classroom teaching experience.
  • Nominees must be planning to teach for at least one year following the award year.
  • Past state and national winners are not eligible.
  • Self-nominations are not accepted.

Visit the Gilder Lehrman website to learn more about the History Teacher of the Year eligibility!

How is the Washington's History Teacher of the Year honored?
  • A $1,000 award from Gilder Lehrman.
  • An invitation to the annual Governor’s Reception for Exceptional Educators.
  • An opportunity to compete for the national award.
  • The recipient's school receives an archive of primary historical materials named in honor of the teacher.

Award Winners

2022 Award Winner: Leslie Heffernan, West Valley School District

2020 Award Winner: Mary Anne Henderson, The Northwest School, Seattle

2019 Award Winner: John Zingale, Vancouver iTech Preparatory, Vancouver

2018 Award Winner: Mary Anne Christy, Lakeside High School, Seattle

2017 Award Winner: Elizabeth Doughty, Battle Ground School District, Brush Prairie

2016 Award Winner: Shari Conditt, Woodland High School, Woodland

2015 Award Winner: No nominations were received.

2014 Award Winner: Ed Bergh, Yelm High School, Yelm School District

2013 Award Winner: Amy Johnson, Cascade Middle School, Longview School District

2012 Award Winner: Steven Lawrence, Meridian High School, Bellingham School District

2011 Award Winner: Karen Morley-Smith, Sunset Elementary School, Evergreen School District

2010 Award Winner: Doug Perry, Gig Harbor High School, Peninsula School District

2009 Award Winner: Jason A. Eng, Mt. Stuart Elementary, Ellensburg

2008 Award Winner: Mary Elizabeth Gottschalk, Assumption Catholic School, Bellingham

2007 Award Winner: Paula Cautrell, Sunrise Elementary School, Redmond

2006 Award Winner: Tricia Jenden Billes, Sequim Middle School, Sequim

2005 Award Winner: Jim Sawatzki, Bethel High School, Spanaway

2004 Award Winner: Marshall Mah, Mount Spokane High School, Mead

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