Skyline High teacher Melinda Reay was named 2019 Utah History Teacher of the Year. Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History presents this award annually to the teachers who are dedicated to American history.
Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is dedicated to American history education and is the nation’s leading organization. One teacher is honored from each state as well as the District of Columbia, Department of Defense schools and U.S. Territories.
The nonprofit’s mission is to “promote knowledge and understanding of American history through education programs and resources.”
“To receive this award is a big honor” said Reay. She believes an award like this really highlights the significance and importance of history as a subject. The Gilder Lehrman Institute puts an emphasis on primary sources and that is something that Reay really values.
Helping students understand historical events and making them think for themselves is a key concept in Reay’s classroom. She wants students to connect the dots for events and be able to support what they have learned.
One of Reay’s teaching practices is to make what is being taught relevant and teach why each event is important. She loves when her students ask questions and are interested in what’s going on and the significance of historical or current events.
Skyline High will receive a core archive of American history books and Gilder Lehrman educational materials.
“My students at Skyline always say thank you after a lesson. I appreciate how grateful they are for their education and the work I put into my lessons” said Reay.
Reay received her bachelor’s degree at Utah State University and soon will start her master’s degree in gifted and talented education at Utah State University.