Please send a resume, a letter of support from a principal or county superintendent, a letter of support from a colleague or department chair, a brief essay (two pages maximum) describing your approach to teaching history, and a sample lesson plan or student project that highlights your use of primary documents and/or material culture in the classroom. Materials should be sent via fax, email, or regular mail.
Contact: Danie Schallom, email@example.com, 703-799-5082; Fax: 703-799-5212; (please write "Teacher of the Year" in the subject line); Address: Mount Vernon Education Department, P.O. Box 110, Mount Vernon, VA 22121
Katie Rippy teaches eleventh grade United States and Virginia History Honors; eleventh grade United States and Virginia History and tenth grade World History and Geography II. After graduating from James Madison University in 2009 with a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education, Katie joined the staff at Mount Vernon High School where, in her first year teaching, she founded Mount Vernon High School’s History Honor Society. In 2011 she further engaged her students when she became the MVHS History Day Coordinator. In partnership with several area museums, Katie undertook coordinating logistics for the Virginia District Five History Day coordinator. In her first year coordinating History Day at Mount Vernon High School, Katie was awarded the Virginia Patricia Behring Award which recognizes outstanding National History Day teachers. Katie seeks out additional educational opportunities for her students which has led to participation in a number of programs sponsored by Gilder Lehrman, Mount Vernon, and the Fairfax Network.
In her application essay, Katie wrote that she adopted the motto of her alma mater, James Madison University:
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Katie went on to say – "I am a firm believer that classroom environment shapes the student desire to learn. I start off each year focusing on classroom environment, finding ways to make students feel comfortable with me, with each other, and with learning. Making learning fun is a key aspect to making students realize they can still enjoy life in the classroom." Esther Manns, Assistant Principal of Mount Vernon High School wrote in her recommendation letter: "If attitude makes the difference between getting tasks done and making them fun, Katie is the epitome of great attitude. She inspires everyone around her with her dedication and caring. On behalf of everyone who has benefited from her phenomenal work ethic and teacher leadership, I endorse Katie Rippy for the Mount Vernon History Teacher of the Year."