PUBLISHED: 4:08 PM on Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Skagway woman named AK History Teacher of the Year
Mary McCaffrey, a second and third grade teacher at the Skagway City School, has been named Alaska History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and Preserve America.

Inaugurated in 2004, the History Teacher of the Year Award is designed to promote and celebrate the teaching of American history in classrooms across the United States.

It honors one exceptional K-12 teacher of American history from each state and U.S. territory. This year, only K-6 teachers were eligible for nomination. The selection of the state winner is based upon several criteria, including: at least three years of classroom experience in teaching American history in elementary school; 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.

McCaffrey will receive a $1,000 honorarium and will be in the running for the National History Teacher of the Year Award to be selected this fall. Skagway City School's library will receive a core archive of history books and materials from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

"This award gives us the chance to recognize great history teachers across the country," said Lesley Herrmann, Executive Director of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

"It puts exceptional educators front and center."

Founded in 1994, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History promotes the study and love of American history. Increasingly national and international in scope, the Institute targets audiences ranging from students to scholars to the general public.

It helps create history-centered schools and academic research centers, organizes seminars and enrichment programs for educators, partners with school districts to implement Teaching American History grants, produces print and electronic publications and traveling exhibitions, and sponsors lectures by historians.

The Institute also funds awards including the Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and George Washington Book Prizes and offers fellowships for scholars to work in history archives, including the Gilder Lehrman Collection. For more information, visit

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. For more information, visit