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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 646-366-9666. You may also email the educator recognition mailbox at email@example.com for more information.
Social Studies Teacher
Somerville High School
Somerville Public Schools
Adda Santos was born in Porto Alegre, a city in the state of Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil. She immigrated to the United States in 1990 to attend Northeastern University, where she stayed for two years before transferring to the University of Massachusetts Boston, where she earned a bachelor's degree in history and then a master's degree in secondary education. During most summers, Adda continues to attend history seminars, where she focuses on African American history, her main area of interest.
Before teaching, she worked as a library assistant at Lamont Library at Harvard University. In 1998, she became a teacher at Somerville High School, where she has taught for the last 24 years. Adda is a true believer in teaching "hard history" to her students and never leaving any facts or voices out of the American narrative.
In 2020, Adda was awarded the William Spratt Award for Excellence in Teaching Secondary Social Studies from the Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies, and in 2021, Adda was awarded the American Association of State and Local History Leadership in History Award for her creation and work on the exhibit The Basement Project: Not Your Usual Junk at the Somerville Museum.
Adda lives in Somerville with her husband of 22 years, Keith, and her daughter, Vivian Alice, who is a junior at Howard University in Washington, D.C. and makes her parents very proud!
Jane O'Brien, Diamond Middle School, Lexington Public Schools
Erica Welch, Boston Teachers Union K-8 Pilot School, Boston Public Schools
Last Updated: August 30, 2022
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