Swanson Middle School teacher Mary Beth Donnelly has been named the 2019 Virginia History Teacher of the Year, an award presented annually by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to K-12 American history education.
Inaugurated in 2004, the History Teacher of the Year Award highlights the crucial importance of history education by honoring exceptional American history teachers from elementary school through high school. The award honors one K-12 teacher from each state, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense schools and US Territories. In fall 2019, the National History Teacher of the Year will be selected from the pool of state winners.
In addition to a $1,000 honorarium, Swanson will receive a core archive of American history books and Gilder Lehrman educational materials and recognition at a ceremony in Virginia.
Donnelly is also one of 53 finalists for the $10,000 National History Teacher of the Year Award that will be presented by John Avlon, Senior Political Analyst and anchor at CNN, at a ceremony in New York City on October 2. Past presenters at the ceremony include the Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor, Good Morning America‘s Robin Roberts, First Lady Laura Bush, former US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History was founded in 1994 by Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, visionaries and lifelong supporters of American history education. The Institute is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to K–12 history education while also serving the general public. Its mission is to promote the knowledge and understanding of American history through educational programs and resources.