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Educator Recognition Programs

Massachusetts History Teacher of the Year Program

Nominations are open year round for the Massachusetts and National History Teacher of the Year programs to honor outstanding teachers of American history across the country. The Massachusetts History Teacher of the Year will automatically be the state's candidate for the National History Teacher of the Year award. The award is sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History (GLI).

We are seeking outstanding K-12 teachers who find creative ways to bring history alive in the classroom and in communities.

Teachers will be selected based on the following:
  • At least three years of classroom experience;
  • A demonstrated commitment to teaching American history;
  • Evidence of creativity and innovation in the classroom; and
  • Effective use of documents, artifacts, historic sites, oral histories, and other primary resources to engage students in American history.
  • Self nominations are not accepted.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History will honor each statewide winner with an award of $1,000, a certificate of recognition, an invitation to attend a Gilder Lehrman Teacher Seminar, and the opportunity for the winner's school to become a GLI Affiliate School. The Institute will also present the winner's school with a collection of American history classroom resources, given in honor of the state winner, for use in the school library or resource center.

To nominate a teacher and learn more about the award, visit the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History's website or contact the National History Teacher of the Year coordinator at or 646-366-9666. You may also email the educator recognition mailbox at for more information.

2017 Massachusetts History Teacher of the Year

2017 History Teacher of the Year: Kevin Dua, History Teacher, Somerville High School, Somerville Public Schools

Kevin Dua

History Teacher

Somerville High School

Somerville Public Schools

Kevin's philosophy in urban education has been embedded solely in empowering children to utilize and challenge their voices and minds to contribute to their communities, to empathize with all identities, and to explore the social progress of America via the lenses of varied perspectives.

Kevin co-piloted Peers Educating Peers, a Boston history course, at Boston Arts Academy where students examined contemporary American and historical issues via arts and technology and then shared works with students at the Washington Latin Charter Public School in Washington, D.C.

Kevin uses numerous teaching strategies such as Socratic Seminars to examine the advancement of women's rights in America and contrasting them with current nationwide rallies since President Trump's inauguration. He welcomed the in-depth study of federal and state powers and applied it to the Syrian refugee and sanctuary cities immigration debate in our country.

Students have observed primary maps to try to create "The Perfect Compromise of 1850," to better grasp the complexities of compromises, the Civil War, and the current Mexico-U.S. debate. Mr. Dua has instructed a historic research investigation on the mistaken photographed identities of three enslaved humans, Frederick Douglass, Nat Turner, and Denmark Vesey, and how agency of American slaves is relevant in the 21st technological society. This culminated in a student driven video of their research.

Kevin's philosophy relies solely on this mindset: present American history as an intricate civilization that requires its citizens to become lifelong, diagnostic students of it. This helps ensure the preservation, improvement, and valuing of its potential for all. It is key to retrace the past, survey the present, and advance our nation to become more empathic, and help guide students to do so via inventive ways.

Kevin has been the recipient of numerous awards such as the MA Council for the Social Studies Don Salvucci Award for Excellence in Promoting Civic Engagement, a BostonEd Talks Honoree, MTA Human and Civil Rights Kathleen Roberts Creative Leadership Award, Charles F. Donovan Urban Teaching Scholars Award, Bank of America Boston College Scholar Civic Education Award, Comcast NBC Universal Leadership Award, WHDH 7 Channel News Class Act, AmeriCorps/NCCC Alumni Delegate, and the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award.

Former Massachusetts History Teachers of the Year

Last Updated: June 28, 2017
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