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Alconbury Teacher Selected as DoDEA History Teacher of the Year

For Immediate Release — May 29, 2012 | HQ
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ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA — May 29, 2012 — The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) is proud to announce Susan Payne as the 2012 Department of Defense History Teacher of the Year. Payne teaches Middle and High Social Studies at Alconbury Middle/High School in Great Britain.

The National History Teacher of the Year Award recognizes outstanding K-12 American history teachers across the country. Sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, The History Channel and Preserve America, this competition is open to any full-time K-12 educator who teaches American history (including state and local history) as either an individual subject or through social studies, reading or language arts. A panel of teachers, administrators, and academics from DoDEA chose the top History Teacher.

Teachers are rated based on the following criteria:

  • At least three years of classroom teaching experience.
  • A demonstrated commitment to teaching American history.
  • Evidence of creativity and imagination in the classroom.
  • Effective use of documents, artifacts, historic sites, oral histories, and other primary resources to engage students with American history.


Payne's use of a National History Day program and her focus on student collaboration and involvement in school-based committees demonstrated her passion for educational innovation and excellence.

"I am very honored to receive this award," Payne said. "It is an immense privilege and a pleasure to serve our US military community and help their children understand the value of their family's sacrifice."

State History Teachers of the Year receive a prize package including a certificate of recognition, a $1,000 award, a collection of classroom resources to be presented in their honor to their school library, and the opportunity to participate in a Gilder Lehrman Institute summer seminar.

Each state winner is also a finalist for the National History Teacher of the Year Award which will be announced in the fall. A panel of judges comprising the previous national winner, renowned historians, professors, and teachers, reads and evaluates all state winner materials based on the criteria for the award and selects the National History Teacher of the Year.

In addition, Payne's school will be named a Gilder Lehrman Affiliate School. Affiliate Schools receive invitations to regional forums with noted historians, access to an exclusive section of our web site with extensive teacher resources such as lesson plans, toolkits, and primary source documents to use in the classroom, priority access to our Teacher Seminars and traveling exhibitions.

To learn more about the competition visit:

DoDEA consists of the Department of Defense Dependents Schools located overseas, and the Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools located in the U.S. and its territories and possessions. DoDEA provides education to eligible DoD military and civilian dependents from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. DoDEA also provides support and resources to Local Education Activities throughout the U.S. that serve children of military families.

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