by Max Brantley
Vicki Stroud Gonterman, an international studies specialist with Little Rock’s Gibbs Magnet School of International Studies and Foreign Languages, has been named Arkansas History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and Preserve America. Arkansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Tom Kimbrell presented the award to Gonterman during a ceremony at the Arkansas Department of Education on Tuesday morning.
“Ms. Gonterman continues to be a student of history as well as a teacher of it, which no doubt is one reason she is able to deliver such exciting lessons to the students at Gibbs,“ Dr. Kimbrell said. Gonterman has been teaching for 29 years and has been at Gibbs Magnet since its inception in 1987. She teaches the cultures studied by each of the classes there and works with all teachers to incorporate those lessons into other subject areas.
Gonterman will receive a $1,000 honorarium. Gibbs Magnet School’s library will receive a core archive of history books and materials from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
Now in its sixth year, the History Teacher of the Year Award is designed to promote and celebrate the teaching of American history in classrooms across the United States. The award honors one exceptional K-12 teacher of American history from each state and U.S. territory. This year, only elementary school teachers were eligible for nomination. The selection of the state winner is based on several criteria, including: at least three years of classroom experience in teaching American history; a deep career commitment to teaching American history, which includes 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.
Founded in 1994, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History promotes the study and love of American history. The Institute serves teachers, students, scholars and the general public.