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Gig Harbor Educator Named Washington's American History Teacher of the Year

OLYMPIA — June 14, 2010 — Doug Perry, a National Board Certified English and history teacher at Gig Harbor High School, has been named the 2010 Washington State American History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and Preserve America.

"Doug's aim to make American history not only relevant, but exciting and personal to every student in his classroom is what makes him one of our very best," said Randy Dorn, state superintendent.

Perry, a 43-year teacher, uses creative lesson plans, technology and personal stories to bring the American experience to life. Colleagues observe that his students continuously distinguish themselves not only as exceptional writers and researchers, but also as deep thinkers.

Perry's enthusiasm for teaching spills over into other subjects. He frequently searches out resources for other teachers. Jim Greetham, a student when Perry began teaching at Gig Harbor and now a colleague, said, "Even after almost ten years working in the same department with Doug, I sense that all that I gain from teaching with him has barely tapped the amazing quantity that he has to offer."

"Mr. Perry is not only a teacher of history, he is an historian himself and his students benefit from his expertise." said Kelly Martin, program supervisor for social studies and international education at the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Martin went on to observe, "Mr. Perry asks his students to go beyond the textbook to examine a personal history where the ordinary becomes extraordinary. Every day he is effectively creating compassionate, empathetic and informed citizens."

As Washington's American History Teacher of the Year, Perry receives a $1,000 honorarium from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and will be considered for the national Preserve America History Teacher of the Year. Gig Harbor High School will also receive a core archive of history books and materials.

About the Award
Washington's American History Teacher of the Year is selected by a committee of education leaders and subject matter experts. The criteria for selection include:

  • at least three years of classroom experience in teaching American history;
  • a deep career commitment to teaching American history including local and state history;
  • evidence of creativity and imagination in the classroom that address literacy and content beyond state standards;
  • close attention to primary documents, artifacts, historic sites, and other primary materials of history, including oral history; and
  • evidence of thoughtful assessment of student achievement.

The Preserve America History Teacher of the Year Award promotes and celebrates the teaching of American history in classrooms across the United States. Every year it honors one K–12 teacher of American history from each state and U.S. territory. The award alternates between elementary and secondary teachers. Nominations for 2011 will be open to elementary teachers.

Founded in 1994, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History promotes the study and love of American history. Preserve America is a White House initiative that encourages greater shared knowledge about the nation's past and increased local participation in preserving the country's cultural and natural heritage assets.


About OSPI

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K-12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine Educational Service Districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.

OSPI does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual preference/orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.

Nathan Olson
OSPI Communications Manager
(360) 725-6015

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For more information

Washington State History Teacher of the Year

Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

Preserve America


   Updated 6/16/2010

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