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Olathe teacher advances to 2023 National History Teacher of the Year finals

Olathe teacher advances to 2023 National History Teacher of the Year finals

Rachel Swearengin, a fifth-grade teacher at Manchester Park Elementary School, is amongst the 10 finalists for the 2023 National History Teacher of the Year, the Gilder Lehrman Institute announced this week. 

Swearengin was announced as the 2023 Kansas History Teacher of the Year in August. 

This award highlights the crucial importance of history education by honoring exceptional American history teachers from elementary, middle and high schools. The award honors one K-12 teacher from each state, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense schools and United States Territories. 

Swearengin received a $1,000 honorarium, along with a core archive of American history books and Gilder Lehrman educational materials. She also became one of 53 finalists for the 2023 National History Teacher of the Year Award. 

Since 2004, 1,013 exemplary American history educators have been recognized as State History Teachers of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. 

Swearengin earned her bachelor’s degree from MidAmerica Nazarene in 2000. She began teaching fifth grade at Prairie Center Elementary School, Olathe Unified School District 233, in 2001. She taught for three years and then decided to stay home for the next seven while her children were little. 

In 2011, Swearengin returned to teaching and served as a kindergarten teacher for two years at Heritage Elementary School in Olathe. In 2013, she transferred to her current position as a fifth-grade teacher at Manchester Park. 

She completed a master’s degree in 2018 in curriculum and instruction from Emporia State University. 

Swearengin was nominated for the Gilder Lehrman Kansas History Teacher of the Year in the spring. She was notified Aug. 1 that she was the recipient. 

The 2023 National History Teacher of the Year will be announced in the coming weeks and will be honored at a ceremony in New York City. 

The other nine finalists are: 

  • Matthew Fulford, East High School, Denver, Colorado. 
  • Karen Boyea, Greenwich High School, Greenwich, Connecticut. 
  • Tyrone Williams Jr., Oak Park River Forest High School, Oak Park, Illinois. 
  • Jessica Lander, Lowell High School, Lowell, Massachusetts. 
  • Matthew Vriesman, East Kentwood High School, Kentwood, Michigan. 
  • Andrew Pyszka, Goffstown High School-SAU No. 19, Goffstown, New Hampshire. 
  • Marilyn Orseno, North Royalton High School, North Royalton, Ohio. 
  • Christine Costa, Tiverton Middle School, Tiverton, Rhode Island. 
  • Craig Blackman, Indian River High School, Chesapeake, Virginia. 

Congratulations to Swearengin and the other finalists. 

Posted: Sep 7, 2023,
Comments: 0,
Author: Ann Bush

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