CONTACT: Sylvia Plumb, Director of Communications, 802.262.2626 x302

Vermont Humanities Council Seeks Nominations for Eighth Annual

Seeking Excellent Teacher for Annual Award with $1,000 Prize

Montpelier, Vt. — Do you know an excellent Vermont teacher who deserves statewide recognition and a $1,000 prize? The Vermont Humanities Council is seeking nominations for the 2010 Victor R. Swenson Humanities Educator Award. Honoring Dr. Swenson’s twenty-eight years of service to the humanities in Vermont, the award recognizes a Vermont educator in grades 6 through 12 who exemplifies excellence in the teaching of the humanities.

The recipient receives a $1,000 award and public recognition at the Council’s fall conference on November 13 at the Stoweflake in Stowe, Vermont. Last year’s winner was John Peterson, a Social Studies teacher at Rutland High School. The first recipient of the award was Graham Newell of St. Johnsbury Academy, who inspired a love of lifelong learning in generations of students.

“Each year the Council is pleased to salute Vermont teachers whose distinguished teaching and passion for their subject inspire their students in profound ways,” notes VHC Executive Director Peter Gilbert. “Such teachers truly change lives. I hope that former and current students, parents, principals, and others will nominate an outstanding teacher.  It’s a wonderful way to let them know what a difference they've made.”

VHC seeks an educator who inspires his or her students and encourages an appreciation for lifelong learning. The teacher should possess extraordinary passion, knowledge, ability, and accomplishment in the teaching of literature, history, social studies, language, or other humanities fields. The educator should demonstrate a dedication to their profession through collaboration with other educators; have a demonstrated record of personal achievement; and serve as a role model for other educators.

Any community member may make a nomination—parents, coworkers, current and former students, and school administrators, etc.

The nomination process begins with a letter of nomination due at VHC’s Montpelier office by June 1, 2010. (Individuals may not nominate themselves.) Letters of nomination should be at least one page, but not more than two. The nomination letter should thoroughly describe the accomplishments that qualify the nominee for the award, including his/her passion for teaching, achievements, and professional experience. (Current members of the VHC board and staff and members of the judging committee are not eligible to receive the award.) After reviewing the nominations, the judging committee will seek additional supporting material. The award will be announced October 1, 2010.

For more information, contact the Vermont Humanities Council at [log in to unmask], call 802.262.2626, or visit

Nominations should be mailed to Vermont Humanities Council, Victor R. Swenson Humanities Educator Award, 11 Loomis Street, Montpelier, Vermont 05602 or e-mailed to [log in to unmask]

The Vermont Humanities Council is a private nonprofit working to bring the power and the pleasure of the humanities to all Vermonters---of every background and in every community. The Council envisions a state in which every individual learns throughout life---a state in which all its citizens read, reflect, and participate in public affairs.

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