Masconomet teacher wins national history award

David B. Mitchell, a high school teacher at Masconomet Regional High School in Topsfield, was presented with the 2008 national Preserve America History Teacher of the Year award on October 24 during a ceremony at the Union League Club in New York City. The award was presented by First Lady Laura Bush, honorary chair of the Preserve America initiative.

“Dave’s always searching for new chances to teach and to learn. For him, sharing the love of history is a calling. And Dave’s enthusiastic teaching is putting his students on the path to success,” Mrs. Bush said.

Mitchell had been named the Massachusetts Preserve America History Teacher of the Year in June. The national award winner is selected from among the state winners.

David Mitchell

David Mitchell was named Massachusetts Preserve America History Teacher of the Year at the Statehouse in June.

Mitchell’s philosophy of teaching history through the use of authentic original sources states: “These documents, photos, cartoons, and letters are still living and this life … helps our students feel the pulse of history.”

Mitchell began his teaching career as part of the Teach for America Program. He taught in Los Angeles and Baltimore before coming to Masconomet High School in 1995 with an undergraduate degree and since has earned two masters degrees while working to improve educational opportunities for students and mentor many colleagues.

This is the fifth year that the administration’s Preserve America initiative and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History have partnered to present the Preserve America History Teacher of the Year award. Each state winner receives $1,000 and an archive of books and educational resources for his or her school’s library.