Without our nation’s veterans, America wouldn’t be the great
nation it is today. Our youth deserve to learn about our rich history,
traditions and the role of our veterans in creating and shaping America.
The VFW Teacher of the Year award contest recognizes
three exceptional teachers for their outstanding commitment to teaching
Americanism and patriotism to their students. Each year, a classroom
elementary, junior high and high school teacher whose curriculum focuses on
citizenship education topics—for at least half of the school day in a classroom
environment—can be nominated for the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship
Education Teacher Award. Winners receive:
- A $1,000 award for professional development expenses.
- A $1,000 award for his/her school.
- Two award plaques: one for the teacher, the other for his/her school.
- An all-expenses-paid trip to attend a VFW conference to receive their
WHO SHOULD BE NOMINATED:
who promote civic responsibility, flag etiquette and patriotism are prime
candidates for the award.
If you know a teacher who plans field trips to city hall, organizes community
volunteer projects or invites local veterans to speak in class, anything
to help students develop a better understanding of democratic values and
beliefs, this award is for them
HOW TO SUBMIT A NOMINATION:
Step 1: In
350 words or less, describe why you feel your nominee is deserving of the
award. Be sure to describe the teacher's innovative teaching and resource
development methods, as well as his or her dedication to education.
Step 2: Complete
the VFW Smart/Maher National Citizenship Education Teacher
Award nomination form.
Step 3: Submit
the nomination form along with your explanation to your local VFW Post by
Nominations can be submitted by fellow teachers, supervisors or other
interested individuals. Nominations submitted by relatives or self are not
HOW THE CONTEST WORKS:
on the nominees submitted, VFW's local chapters - called Posts - will recognize
one outstanding teacher in grades K-5, 6-8 and 9-12. Posts then submit their
winning names to their District-level judging.
there, the selected winners are forwarded to the Department-level
(state-level). Once they are judged on a state level, the winners are passed
along to VFW National Headquarters for consideration in the national
COMPLETE RULES AND INFORMATION
The 2014 Teacher of the Year winners are:
Shirley Harmon Helton, a fifth-grade teacher at Fairlawn Elementary School in Fort Pierce, Fla., has been named the 2014 winner at the elementary school level. At the middle school level, Jeff Gephart, a seventh- and eighth-grade history teacher at Holloman Middle School on Holloman Air Force Base in Almogordo, N.M., was named the 2014 winner. Tom Clark, a high school history teacher at Lake Central High School in St. John, Ind., was named the 2014 high school winner.
Learn more about the 2014 winners.