An award for the ages


Getting fourth graders from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds interested in local history seems daunting, but John Adams Elementary Schools Stacy Hoeflich is finding a way.

Hoeflich, Virginia Studies teacher, was named Virginia History Teacher of the Year by the state Department of Education at a June 7 ceremony. One of 18 nominated for the award, Hoeflichs success in the classroom was confirmed by a committee comprised of representatives from the University of Virginias school of education, the Virginia Historical Society, the Library of Virginia and the Library of Congress. 

They looked for a commitment to teaching, creativity in the classroom and use of primary sources. Her exceptional effort to engage students in a school where minorities are the majority stood out to judges, said Julie Grimes, department spokeswoman.

Many of her students have limited proficiency in English and need intensive instruction, Grimes said.
 Her creative approach to history instruction engages students throughout the year and prepares them for success on the SOL tests, said Patricia I. Wright, superintendent of public instruction, in a statement.

Hoeflich received a certificate, $1,000, and an invitation to attend an American history seminar of her choice. She is now in the running for National History Teacher of the Year, to be announced later this year.