The Mount Vernon History Teacher of the Year Award is presented annually to a Washington, D.C. Metro area History or Social Studies teacher who brings creativity and passion to his or her classroom; instills a love of learning in students; and deepens student understanding and appreciation of history. 

This award is generously supported by the Robertson Foundation.
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Award Notification

Early June 2024

Mount Vernon History Teacher of the Year Award

Do you know an exceptional History Teacher in the Washington, D.C. area?

The Prize

The winner of the Mount Vernon History Teacher of the Year will receive a $5,000 cash award, as well as funding for a trip to George Washington's Mount Vernon for their students (inclusive of bus transportation, tickets to the Estate with guided Mansion tour, and lunch vouchers).

The Mount Vernon History Teacher of the Year runner-up will receive $500 and free registration for up to five Distance Learning Programs or one of a Virtual VIP Tour.

Nomination Process

Teachers may submit a self-nomination or be nominated by a colleague. 

Online Nomination: Nominations must be submitted using our online nomination form. A resume, essay, letters of support, and educational materials must be uploaded via the online system. Nominations do not have to be completed in one sitting.

  • Resume A two page (maximum) resume that includes teaching grants or honors, curriculum materials created, and educational initiatives or programs with which the teacher has been involved.
  • Essay For self-nominations, please provide a two-page (maximum) essay describing how you address the award criteria in your classroom, as well as your teaching philosophy and goals. 
    For nominations made by a colleague, please provide a two-page (maximum) essay describing how the nominated teacher addresses the award criteria in his or her classroom and why you believe he or she is deserving of this honor. 
  • Letters of Support A letter of support from the teacher’s school principal or county superintendent attesting to the nominee's skill as a history teacher, as well as a letter of support from a colleague or department chair are required.
  • Educational Materials Sample educational materials used in the classroom that highlight the use of primary sources such as documents and/or material culture. 

Award Criteria

  • Full-time teachers, with at least two years of experience, who teach American history at the elementary, middle, or high school level
  • Creativity and accuracy in lesson development and classroom teaching
  • Ability to integrate primary sources such as documents and material culture into the study of history
  • Dedication to improving their students' understanding of historical content as well as fostering their knowledge of the importance of the study of history
  • Ability to cultivate in their students an abiding interest in and passion for the study of history
  • Must teach in Washington, D.C or the following counties or cities in Virginia and Maryland: Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Loudoun, Prince William, Stafford, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Baltimore County, Carroll, Charles, Frederick, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George's.
Meet the 2023 Mount Vernon History Teacher of the Year

Meet the 2023 Mount Vernon History Teacher of the Year

Mount Vernon is honored to give the History Teacher of the Year Award to Ariel Alford, a history teacher at Hayfield Secondary School, in Alexandria, VA. Ariel is an innovative teacher who has been a champion for all students and an integral part of her school and extended professional learning communities. 

Read the press release here.  

2023 Mount Vernon History Teacher of the Year Runner-Up

Leila Matta, history teacher at Kenmore Middle School in Arlington, VA was selected as the 2023 runner-up.


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