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Hayes Middle School’s Deener named Kentucky History Teacher of the Year


April Deener of Edythe J. Hayes Middle School has been selected the 2018 History Teacher of the Year for Kentucky by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, a nonprofit organization dedicated to K-12 history education.

April Deener

The award honors one teacher from each state, the District of Columbia, Defense Department schools, and U.S. territories. Deener is now in this pool for National History Teacher of the Year, which will be announced in New York City this October.

Deener, who earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Kentucky and her master’s degree in middle school education at Georgetown College, has taught eighth-grade U.S. History for eight years. She says students should be equal partners in the learning process, and she believes that knowledge gained through active participation is knowledge that will stay with a child.

In the classroom, Deener engages students with vibrant historical themes, using music, art, literature, economic theory, and strategic analysis to give them a multi-sensory appreciation of the material. In the end, Deener’s hope is that her students will become active and responsible citizens.

For the state-level award, Deener received a $1,000 honorarium, and the Hayes library a core archive of American history books and Gilder Lehrman educational materials. Deener is also invited to a 2019 weeklong seminar that will offer teachers daily discussions with eminent historians, visits to historic sites, and hands-on work with primary sources.

From Fayette County Public Schools


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