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Mary Gunsalus '76, a teacher at Landstown Middle School in Virginia Beach, has been named Virginia History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and Preserve America. She received a $1,000 honorarium and a core archive of history books and materials was donated to her school library.

Inaugurated in 2004, the History Teacher of the Year Award is designed to promote and celebrate the teaching of American history in classrooms across the United States. It honors one exceptional K-12 teacher of American history from each state and U.S. territory. The selection of the state winner is based upon several criteria, including experience in teaching American history for at least three years; a deep career commitment to teaching American history; evidence of creativity and imagination in the classroom; and close attention to documents, artifacts, historic sites, and the other primary materials of history.

"This award gives us the chance to recognize great history teachers across the country," said Lesley Herrmann, executive director of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. "It puts exceptional educators front and center."

A history major at St. Lawrence, Gunsalus was also elected to the University's chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the national academic honor society.

Founded in 1994, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History "promotes the study and love of American history" by creating history-centered schools and academic research centers; organizing seminars and enrichment programs for educators; working with school districts to implement Teaching American History grants; producing print and electronic publications and traveling exhibitions; and sponsoring lectures by eminent historians. The Institute also funds awards including the Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and George Washington Book Prizes and offers fellowships for scholars to work in history archives, including the Gilder Lehrman Collection, which includes more than 60,000 American historical documents.

For more information, visit the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History's Web site

Posted: December 7, 2005

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