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Tachau Teacher of the Year Award


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.

The award will be presented at the 2019 OAH Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 4–6.


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


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

Nomination Procedures

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

To nominate a teacher, please fill out the nomination form at http://www.oah.org/programs/awards/tachau-teacher-of-the-year-award/submission-form/.

Nominees will then be asked to submit the items listed below.

  1. A cover letter written by a colleague indicating why the teacher merits the award (no more than two pages).
  2. Two letters written by former or present students (no more than two pages each).
  3. Curriculum vitae (no more than three pages).
  4. 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).
  5. A narrative describing the goals and effects of his/her work in the classroom and elsewhere for history education (no more than three pages).
  6. 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 2019. The winner will be provided with details regarding the OAH Annual Meeting and awards presentation. The winner will receive a cash award, a one-year OAH membership, and a complimentary registration for the annual meeting. 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 midnight PST on December 3, 2018 to be considered for the 2019 award.

Mary K. Bonsteel Tachau Teacher of the Year Award Committee

Kevin Yeager (Committee Chair)
Affiliation: The Bryn Mawr School

Stephen Sullivan
Affiliation: Lawrence High School (NY)

Benjamin J. Sacks
Affiliation: Princeton University



List of Past Winners