"In the Beginning, all America was Virginia."
William Byrd II
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Brenton S. Halsey Teaching Excellence Award

Every year, the Virginia Historical Society recognizes an outstanding teacher who teaches Virginia or American history in a Virginia public or private school. The individual selected will receive the Brenton S. Halsey Teaching Excellence Award, along with a $250 monetary prize. The Halsey Award alternates annually between elementary (k-5) and secondary (6-12) teachers, and only elementary teachers are eligible for the award this year.

Criteria for selection

The teacher receiving this award will be one who:

  • Demonstrates an understanding of history and enthusiasm for the subject.
  • Fosters a spirit of inquiry and the development of critical thinking skills among students.
  • Uses innovative and creative teaching techniques and materials.
  • Promotes the use of new and innovative teaching techniques by colleagues.
  • Provides leadership in the field of k-12 history education.

How to nominate a teacher

Using the criteria listed above, submit the nomination form. Please secure the following supporting materials from your nominee:

  • the nominee's current teaching schedule and resume or vita
  • two letters of recommendation, one of which must come from the teacher's immediate supervisor. Letters of support should be no longer than 300 words and should address the qualifications listed above.
  • any other evidence, such as lessons plans, projects, or articles, that demonstrate instructional excellence or otherwise support the teacher's application. Unfortunately, materials cannot be returned.

Once you have secured all supporting materials, please submit them to:

William B. Obrochta
Manager of Educational Services
Virginia Historical Society
P.O. Box 7311
Richmond, VA 23221-0311

The completed nomination form and supporting materials must be received by May 31, 2017. The Halsey Teaching Excellence Award will be chosen by a subcommittee of the VHS Teacher Advisory Board according to the criteria stated above. All decisions are final and within the discretion of the Virginia Historical Society and its representatives.

Bill Obrochta

William B. Obrochta, Manager of Educational Services

Do you have a question about the educational resources we offer at the Virginia Historical Society. You may contact me at 804.342.9651 or wobrochta@vahistorical.org. I look forward to speaking with you.

Previous Recipients

1997 David F. Riddick, Albemarle County
1998 Linda K. Miller, Fairfax County
1999 Wayne E. Boese, Richmond City
2000 Jetta Walls, Loudoun County
Cynthia Smith, Richmond City
2001 Eric D. Powell, Stafford County Public Schools
2002 Bobbie J. Johnson, Loudoun County
2003 Richard Gillespie, Loudoun County
2004 Cheryl Phillips, Prince William County
2005 Sally Ryan Burgess, Henrico County
2006 James Percoco, Fairfax County
2007 Kristi Titus, Loudoun County
2008 James E. Triesler, Chesterfield County
2009 Lindsay Crump Porzio, Chesterfield County
2010 Debra Velasco, Loudoun County
2011 Margaret R. DeHart, Montgomery County
2012 Rebecca L. Donlon, Fairfax County
2013 Kathleen Nealon, Fairfax County
2014 Chantea R. Wright, Richmond City
2015 Amanda S. Kehoe, Chesterfield County
2016 Kathryn K.M. Herschberger


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