Karalee Nakatsuka, a world history teacher at First Avenue Middle School in Arcadia, has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2019 National History Teacher of the Year Award. The award is presented annually by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to K-12 American history education.
A teacher at First Avenue Middle School since 1990, Nakatsuka has been recognized with the 2017 Outstanding Teacher Award and as the Rotary Teacher of the Year in 1999 and 2012, and appeared in Profiles in Excellence for the Arcadia School District in 2001. She has been published in the “Social Studies Review” in the Journal of the California Council for the Social Studies and has presented at conferences throughout California.
“The very best history teachers transform textbooks and primary sources into gateways to our country’s past, engaging students and prompting critical thinking about the events and facts that define our nation,” said James G. Basker, president of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. “We are thrilled to recognize these dedicated educators who have exceeded these standards and inspired classrooms across the country.”
Inaugurated 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 K-12 teacher from each state, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense schools and U.S. Territories. The National History Teacher of the Year will be selected from the pool of 10 finalists on Sept. 10, 2019.
The winner of the National History Teacher of the Year award receives a $10,000 prize at a ceremony in New York City on Oct. 2, 2019. This year’s award will be presented by John Avlon, senior political analyst and anchor at CNN. Past presenters at the ceremony include the Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor, Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts, First Lady Laura Bush, former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Nominations for the 2020 History Teacher of the Year awards are now open. Students, parents, colleagues, and supervisors may nominate K-12 teachers for the award here. The deadline for 2020 nominations is March 31, 2020.