Tachau Teacher of the Year Award

In recognition of the contributions made by precollegiate teachers to improve history education within the field of American history.


Overview

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: NOVEMBER 1, 2024

The Mary K. Bonsteel Tachau Teacher of the Year Award is given annually by the Organization of American Historians in recognition of the contributions made by precollegiate teachers to improve history education within the field of American history. The award, to be given for activities which enhance the intellectual development of other history teachers and/or students, memorializes the career of Mary K. Bonsteel Tachau, University of Louisville, for her pathbreaking efforts to build bridges between university and precollegiate history teachers.


Requirements

Eligibility: Precollegiate teachers engaged at least half time in U.S. history teaching, whether in history or social studies, are eligible.

Criteria: Successful candidates shall demonstrate exceptional ability in one or more of the following kinds of activities:

  • Initiating or participating in projects which involve students in historical research, writing, or other means of representing their knowledge of history.
  • Initiating or participating in school, district, regional, state, or national projects which enhance the professional development of history teachers.
  • Initiating or participating in projects to build bridges between precollegiate and collegiate history or social studies teachers.
  • Working with museums, historical preservation societies, or other public history associations to enhance the place of public history in precollegiate schools.
  • Developing innovative history curricula which foster a spirit of inquiry and emphasize critical skills.
  • Publishing or otherwise publicly presenting scholarship that advances history education or historical knowledge.
Submission Process

Candidates may be nominated by any person familiar with the nominee’s professional accomplishments or standing or nominate themselves.

Click here for the Tachau Teacher of the Year Award nomination form.

Nominees may then be asked to submit the items listed below (in one document, double spaced, 12-point font).

  • A cover letter written by a colleague indicating why the teacher merits the award (no more than two pages).
  • Two letters written by former or present students (no more than two pages each).
  • Curriculum vitae (no more than three pages).
  • Samples of written work. These submissions should include article reprints, reports by classroom observers, course outlines, research proposals, and/or other evidence of excellence in some or all of the areas mentioned in the “Criteria” section (no more than fifteen pages).
  • A narrative describing the goals and effects of his/her work in the classroom and elsewhere for history education (no more than three pages).
  • Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of at least three professional references, including the writer of the cover letter, at least one of whom must be a colleague or supervisor (one page).

The final decision will be made by the Tachau Teacher of the Year Award Committee by February 2025. The winner will be provided with details regarding the OAH Conference on American History and awards presentation. The winner will receive a cash award, a one-year OAH membership, and a complimentary registration for the conference. If the winner is an OAH member, the award will include a one-year renewal of membership in the awardee’s usual membership category.

Nominations must be received by 11:59 p.m. (PST) on November 1, 2024, to be considered for the 2025 award. Nominees may be asked to submit supplementary materials by December 1, 2024.

Committee Members

Tiara Fourkiller, chair
Stephen Johnson
James Seymour, Lone Star College-CyFair

Past Winners

2023
Robert M. Fenster, Hillsborough High School 

2022 
Jennifer A. Ingold, Bay Shore Middle School

2021 
Sergio de Alba, R.M. Miano Elementary School

2020 
Brian Sheehy, North Andover High School

2019 
Charles Yarborough, The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science

2018 
Christopher W. Stanley, Ponaganset High School, Rhode Island

2017 
Michael Williams, Warren New Tech High School, North Carolina

2016 
Susan Miller, Middleborough High School, Massachusetts

2015 
Frank M. Cafarella, Cosgrove Middle School, New York

2014 
Stephen J. Sullivan, Lawrence High School, New York

2013 
David Lawrence Hazlett, Fountain-Fort Carson High School, Colorado

2012 
Robert Good, Ladue Horton Watkins High School, Missouri

2011 
No award given.

2010 
Matthew A. Rozell, Hudson Falls High School, New York

2009 
Patricia J. Morris, Ballard High School, Louisville, Kentucky

2008 
Bruce Allyn Lesh, Franklin High School, Reisterstown, Maryland

2007 
Victoria Zuleger Straughn, La Follette High School, Madison, Wisconsin

2006 
Barry Bradford, Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, Illinois

2005 
Mary Connor, Westridge School, Pasadena, California

2004 
Linda Olson, McIntosh Elementary School, Newport News, Virginia

2003 
Kim Ibach, Kelly Walsh High School, Casper, Wyoming

2002 
Ted Dickson, Providence Day School, Charlotte, North Carolina

2001 
Doris Marguerite Will Meadows, Rochester City School District, Rochester, New York

2000 
Kathleen Cochrane Kean, Nicolet High School, Glendale, Wisconsin

1999 
Michele Vickers Forman, Middlebury Union High School, Middlebury, Vermont

1998 
Steven Z. Freiberger, Chatham High School, Chatham, New Jersey

1997 
Ron Briley, Sandia Preparatory School, Albuquerque, New Mexico

1996 
Tedd Levy, Nathan Hale Middle School, Norwalk, Connecticut
Linda Karen Miller, Fairfax High School, Fairfax, Virginia

1995 
Gloria Schuster Sesso, Half Hollow Hills Central High School East, Dix Hills, New York