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Vermont Humanities Seeks Nominations for 2019 Swenson Humanities Educator Award

Do you know a Vermont teacher who has inspired you and who deserves statewide recognition? The Vermont Humanities Council seeks nominations for its 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. Nominating letters are due June 15.

2018 Swenson Award winner Morgan Moore (center) with Vermont Humanities Executive Director Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup (left) and Board Chair Rolf Diamant.

The recipient will receive 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 Morgan Moore of Burke Town School.

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. Since 2003, the Vermont Humanities Council has honored teachers with the award, whose dedication and passion have changed lives and enhanced the culture of learning in their schools.

Last year’s Swenson Award recipient, Morgan Moore, uses her love for the outdoors to create unique learning opportunities in and around Burke. “I think engagement in middle school is key. Students are just going to learn more when they are engaged,” she said. “A lot of our students are very engaged in the outdoors, so we’ve taken them cross country skiing, biking, and hiking.” She continued, “Part of the value is getting the students to take part in healthy activities, but it can also help them learn to love where they live.” Moore’s  “Humans of Burke” project sent students out to interview inspiring community leaders, culminating with a published work and art exhibit—an initiative that won awards and drew national media attention.

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 June 15. (Individuals may not nominate themselves.) Nominations may be made online at vermonthumanities.org/swenson or mailed to Vermont Humanities Council, Victor R. Swenson Humanities Educator Award, 11 Loomis Street, Montpelier, Vermont 05602 or e-mailed to . For details on the nomination process, visit vermonthumanities.org/swenson.

About the Swenson Award

VHC created the Swenson Award in 2003 to recognize a Vermont educator on an annual basis and to honor Victor R. Swenson, the Council’s first executive director. The award is given to a Vermont educator in grades 6 through 12 who exemplifies excellence in the teaching of the humanities.

About the Vermont Humanities Council

A statewide nonprofit organization founded in 1974, the Vermont Humanities Council seeks to engage all Vermonters in the world of ideas, foster a culture of thoughtfulness, and inspire a lifelong love of reading and learning.