CONTACT: Sylvia Plumb, Director of Communications, 802.262.2626 x302

Vermont Humanities Council Seeks Nominations for Eleventh Annual


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

Montpelier, Vt. - Do you know a Vermont teacher who has inspired you and who deserves statewide recognition? Since 2003, the Vermont Humanities Council has honored such teachers with the Victor R. Swenson Humanities Educator Award, which recognizes a Vermont educator in grades 6 through 12 who exemplifies excellence in the teaching of the humanities. VHC seeks nominations for the 2013 award. Nominating letters are due July 1.

The recipient receives a $1,000 check and public recognition at VHC's  fall conference on November 16 at UVM's Dudley Davis Center. Last year's winner was Gary Johnson, who teaches humanities courses at North Country Union High School in Newport. The first recipient of the award was Graham Newell of St. Johnsbury Academy in 2003.

The award is named for Victor Swenson, VHC's first executive director, whose twenty-eight years of service helped nourish the humanities across the state.

"For more than ten years the Council has been pleased to honor Vermont teachers whose distinguished teaching and passion for their humanities subject area inspire their students in profound ways," said VHC Executive Director Peter Gilbert. "Such teachers truly change lives. . . .  I hope that former and current students, parents, principals, and others know and have been inspired by such teachers, and that they will nominate that outstanding teacher to receive the Swenson Humanities Educator Award. It's a wonderful way to let them know what a profound difference they've made."

VHC seeks an educator who inspires his or her students and encourages in them intellectual curiosity and a lifelong love of learning. The teacher should possess extraordinary knowledge, ability, and accomplishment in the teaching of language, literature, history, social studies, or other humanities fields. The educator should exhibit infectious enthusiasm for his or her subject and learning in general, and embody a commitment to the highest standards of achievement, for him or herself and students.

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

The nomination process begins with a letter of nomination due at VHC's Montpelier office by July 1, 2013. (Individuals may not nominate themselves.) Nominations may be made online at<> or 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]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>. To learn more, visit

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 or 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 in October 2013.

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

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 strives to make Vermont a state in which every individual reads, participates in public affairs, and continues to learn throughout life.

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