Gayle Kidd, a fifth grade social studies teacher at Cullins-Lake Pointe Elementary Rockwall Independent School District in – Rowlett, Texas, has been named the 2015 Texas History Teacher of the Year, an award sponsored by The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
A special award ceremony for Ms. Kidd is scheduled for Friday, September 18 at 9 a.m. at Cullins-Lake Pointe Elementary.
Started in 2004, the History Teacher of the Year Award highlights the crucial importance of history education by honoring exceptional American history teachers from elementary school through high school. The award honors one exceptional K-12 teacher from each state, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense schools and US Territories.
In 1992, Gayle Kidd received her bachelor’s degree at University of Louisiana Monroe and completed her teacher certificate at Texas A&M University in 1996. After teaching at Ferris Independent School District for three years, Ms. Kidd joined Rockwall Independent School District in 1997, where she continues to teach fifth grade social studies. Gayle Kidd is a leader in her district, serving as a mentor teacher to new teachers, as a team leader, as a curriculum -reviewer for the Texas State Board of Education and as a presenter for staff development. But Kidd’s greatest impact is in the classroom where her “live it, breathe it, learn it, love it” philosophy and her use of a multitude of interactive strategies have enabled her students to experience history. By providing primary documents from various points of view, her students are taught to question, think, and form their own conclusions about the past. When students leave her classroom they have not only learned valuable information, they become engaged and informed citizens.
Gayle Kidd will receive a $1,000 honorarium and the Cullins-Lake Pointe Elementary School library will receive a core archive of history books and educational materials from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Gayle Kidd will also receive an invitation to a 2016 Gilder Lehrman Teacher Seminar, a weeklong program which offers teachers daily discussions with eminent historians, visits to historic sites, and hands-on work with primary sources.
A “National History Teacher of the Year” will be selected from this list of state winners and honored at a ceremony in New York City. Past presenters at the ceremony include First Lady Laura Bush, US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, the Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. 2
Nominations can be made by a student, parent, colleague, supervisor, or other administrator familiar with the teacher’s work. To be considered for the 2016 award, teachers must be nominated by February 1, 2016. For more information, visit www.gilderlehrman.org/nhtoy.
About the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is a New York–based national nonprofit devoted to the teaching and learning of American history. Gilder Lehrman draws on top scholars, an unparalleled collection of original historical documents, and a national network of Affiliate Schools to create and provide a broad range of innovative resources, help new generations of students learn about American history in a way that is engaging and memorable, and promote critical thinking and excellent writing. The Institute’s programs have been recognized by awards from the White House, the National Endowment of the Humanities, and the Organization of American Historians.