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Catawba Graduate Student Named 2009 N.C. American History Teacher of the Year

July 10, 2009

Category: Academics, Evening & Graduate, Students, Teacher Education


PierceRowan-Salisbury School System's Theresa Pierce has been selected as the 2009 North Carolina Gilder Lehrman Preserve American History Teacher of the Year winner. As a state finalist, Pierce will now become eligible to compete this fall for the national title, which will be awarded by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Recognized for her love of history and for her creative "out of the box" teaching methods, Pierce acknowledges her belief in teaching to various learning styles. "Focusing on the learner when I teach makes it meaningful to them," says Pierce. "It will lead them to a better appreciation for the past. Taking field trips, handling artifacts, and acting out history makes history relevant."

Founded in 1994, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History honors outstanding teachers of American history from across the country and promotes the study and love of American history. The History Teacher of the Year Award recognizes outstanding American history teachers from elementary school through high school for their efforts in teaching the crucial importance of American history education. Finalists are selected from each of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense schools, and U.S. Territories. From these winners, a national honoree is recognized as the National History Teacher of the Year.
Along with receiving this prestigious award, Pierce will also receive a $1,000 honorarium and the Rowan-Salisbury School System will receive a core archive of history books and materials from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History for the district's library.

"I couldn't be happier and more proud of Theresa in receiving this honor," says Dr. Judy Grissom, Superintendent for the Rowan-Salisbury Schools. "Our students benefit from Theresa's love of history and the creative way she invites students into learning about our history. I am not surprised at all that Theresa was chosen to receive this prestigious honor."    

PierceIn order to qualify for this award, Pierce was required to have a minimum of three years of classroom experience in teaching American history in an elementary school; a deep career commitment to teaching American history, which includes local and state history; evidence of creativity and imagination in the classroom that address literacy and content beyond state standards; close attention to primary documents, artifacts, historic sites, and other primary materials of history, including oral history; and evidence of thoughtful assessment of student achievement.

Working towards her graduate degree at Catawba College, Pierce has worked for the Rowan-Salisbury Schools since 1997. Currently at Horizons Unlimited, Theresa is the History Specialist, a position she has held since March of 2008. Prior positions Pierce has held within the school district include, the literacy/curriculum coach at Shive, Overton, and Woodleaf elementary schools and teaching for nine years at Morgan and Granite Quarry elementary schools. Pierce achieved the honor of becoming a National Board Certified Teacher in 2005.






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