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For Immediate Release
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Contact:ESE Contact: Jacqueline Reis, 781-338-3115
Gilder Lehrman Institute Contact: Josh Landon, (646) 366-9666

Cambridge Teacher a Finalist for National History Teacher of the Year

MALDEN - Massachusetts History Teacher of the Year Kevin Dua, a teacher at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2017 National History Teacher of the Year Award from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

"It's humbling to be recognized for the work I try to do in educating students on how to explore history via critical, creative and diverse lenses," Mr. Dua said. "As much as I teach these children, I learn from them daily about new viewpoints and ideas that connect the past and present and that will help build a better and more inclusive future."

Mr. Dua was recognized as Massachusetts History Teacher of the Year at a State House ceremony in June that also recognized other outstanding teachers in the Commonwealth.

"It's a pleasure to see another Massachusetts teacher recognized at the national level for their important work with our students," said Governor Charlie Baker. "I congratulate Mr. Dua on being named a finalist and thank the many excellent teachers like him that bring history to life for the Commonwealth's students."

Mr. Dua, who was teaching at Somerville High School when he became Massachusetts History Teacher of the Year, is known for his use of innovative tools to make history come alive for his students. For example, to further his students' understanding of the origins of the feminist movement, he simulated a 19th-century factory with desks set up in an assembly line and "work contracts" using actual primary sources from a mill factory company, and he put his students to work creating "shirts" under his direction as foreman. Other projects had students researching why Frederick Douglass' image has been incorrectly used for Nat Turner and Denmark Vesey (that project turned into a documentary posted on the Commonwealth Museum's website), and seminars that contrast historical events with current topics such as women's rights and immigration.

Mr. Dua graduated from The College of William and Mary with a bachelor's degree in history and from Boston College's Lynch School of Education with a master's degree in secondary history. During the past year, he won the 2017 Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies Don Salvucci Award for Excellence in Promoting Civic Education and the Massachusetts Teachers' Association's 2017 Kathleen Roberts Creative Leadership Award.

"We are lucky to have teachers like Mr. Dua working in Massachusetts schools," Education Secretary James Peyser said. "His energy, creativity, and knowledge are an asset to our students."

"I know Mr. Dua will represent us well at the national level, and I thank him for all he does for his students," Acting Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeff Wulfson said. "History is a critical component of preparing students for life after graduation, and I'm proud to see a Massachusetts teacher recognized in this area."

Inaugurated in 2004, the History Teacher of the Year Award highlights the importance of history education by honoring exceptional American history teachers from elementary school through high school. The award honors one K-12 teacher from each state, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense schools and U.S. Territories. While the Gilder Lehrman Institute has been honoring a National History Teacher of the Year since 2004, this year is the first time the committee has selected a group of finalists from the state honorees. The National History Teacher of the Year will be selected from the pool of 10 finalists in October 2017.

"Knowledgeable and impassioned teachers bring our country's history to life for students, allowing them to understand engaging with history is about more than a series of facts," said James G. Basker, president of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. "Teachers are the lifeblood of our students' education, and these are the best of the best."

The winner of the National History Teacher of the Year award will receive a $10,000 prize, presented by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Eric Foner at a ceremony in New York City on November 8, 2017.

Nominations for the 2018 History Teacher of the Year awards are now open. Students, parents, colleagues, and supervisors may nominate K-12 teachers for the award by visiting Massachusetts History Teacher of the Year Program. The deadline for 2018 nominations is March 30, 2018.

About the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Founded in 1994 by philanthropists Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is the leading American history nonprofit organization dedicated to K-12 education. With a focus on primary sources, the Gilder Lehrman Institute illuminates the stories, people and moments that inspire students of all ages and backgrounds to learn and understand more about history. Through a diverse portfolio of education programs, including the acclaimed Hamilton Education Program, the Gilder Lehrman Institute provides opportunities for nearly two million students, 30,000 teachers and 13,000 schools worldwide. Learn more at The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

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Last Updated: September 20, 2017
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