MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - A fifth grade teacher within the Charleston County School District has been named the 2015 National History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
Mary Huffman, who teaches at Charles Pinckney Elementary in Mount Pleasant, will receive a $10,000 award and attend a ceremony in her honor at the Yale Club in New York City on October.
According to a release, Huffman uses hands-on lessons to help her students "become active American citizens who make positive changes in the future."
It says she dresses up in clothing from the era her class is studying each week, giving her students a chance to get up close and personal with historic artifacts, such as twenties flapper dresses, nineteenth-century Native American fringed pants, and military uniforms from the Vietnam era.
It says her she has had her students create care packages, write letters to US troops, and participate in veteran's week celebrations by inviting soldiers into the classroom. Huffman has also designed an interactive unit that includes a WWII draft simulation, the release says.
"It is essential that the past is not forgotten, and teachers hold the tools to pry open old hope chests to uncover dusty photo albums from the past," says Huffman.