American Civic Education Teacher Awards

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Introduction

A free society must rely on the civic knowledge, skills, and virtue of its citizens and those they elect to public office. Many institutions help to develop Americans’ knowledge and skills and shape their civic character and commitments. Family, religious institutions, the media, and community groups exert important influences. Schools, however, bear a special and historic responsibility for the development of civic competence and civic responsibility. Schools fulfill that responsibility through both formal and informal curricula beginning in the earliest grades and continuing through the entire educational process. Civic education, therefore, is essential to the preservation and improvement of American constitutional democracy. To this end, the important role of teachers in preparing young people for the obligations of citizenship cannot be overstated.

The Center for Civic Education, the Center on Representative Government at Indiana University, and the National Education Association conduct an annual program to honor American teachers of civics, government, and related fields. Titled the American Civic Education Teacher Awards (ACETA), the program is designed to promote national recognition and respect for the teaching profession as a whole and for teachers of civic education in particular. The awards will honor elementary and secondary civic education teachers who have demonstrated a special expertise in teaching about the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Congress, and public policy at the state and local levels. To this end, the program will select and showcase three exemplary teachers whose students represent the diversity of the American public and private school systems.

Goals of the Program

Through American Civic Education Teacher Awards, selected teachers of civics and government are recognized both for their excellent work and as representatives of their profession. The ACETA program also informs the public of the challenges of teaching and the different conditions under which teachers serve the public good.

ACETA aims to pay tribute to elementary and secondary school teachers representing

  • the teaching of civic education for democracy, whether or not it is in separate civics or government classes,
  • the diverse populations of today’s schools, and
  • each geographic region of the United States.

Selection Committee and Sponsoring Organizations

The committee that selects the teachers to be honored is composed of representatives from the following educational organizations:

  • Center for Civic Education
  • Center on Representative Government at Indiana University
  • National Education Association

Ashley Vascik, Erin Merrill, and Aaron Hull Win 2020 ACETA Awards

AcetaWinners 4.9.20The American Civic Education Teacher Awards (ACETA) for 2020 are Ashley Vascik of Maryland, Erin Merrill of Virginia, and Aaron Hull of Connecticut. Please find the press release here.

Past ACETA Award Winners

2015 ACETA Recipients

Teachers from California, Idaho, and Indiana are recipients of the 2015 American Civic Education Teacher Awards (ACETA), recognizing their exemplary work preparing young people to become informed and engaged citizens. The ACETA winners are Jill R. Baisinger of Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, Jose Flores of Brawley Union High School in Brawley, California, and Holly Kartchner of Blackfoot High School in Blackfoot, Idaho. Learn more.

2014 ACETA Recipients


Teachers from Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Washington are recipients of the 2014 American Civic Education Teacher Awards, recognizing their exemplary work preparing young people to become informed and engaged citizens. The ACETA winners are John Dickson of Harwich (Mass.) High School; Natalie O'Brien of North Smithfield (R.I.) High School; and Jennifer Reidel of Lynden (Wash.) High School.
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Download the press release

2013 ACETA Recipients

Teachers from Florida, Iowa and New Hampshire received the 2013 American Civic Education Teacher Awards, recognizing their exemplary work preparing young people to become informed and engaged citizens. The ACETA winners were: David Alcox of Milford High School and Applied Technology Center in Milford, New Hampshire; Douglas Oswald of Marion Technical Institute in Ocala, Florida; and Nancy Peterson of Gilbert High School in Gilbert, Iowa.

2012 ACETA Recipients


Kevin Cline, Jaime Festa-Daigle, and Richard Ochoa received the 2012 American Civic Education Teacher Awards, which recognizes their exemplary work preparing young people to become informed and engaged citizens.

2011 ACETA Recipients


Teachers from California, North Carolina and Michigan were selected for the 2011 ACETA honors. The recipients were: James Bentley of Foulks Ranch Elementary School in Elk Grove in Sacramento, California; Cindy Jarrett of Durant Road Elementary School in Raleigh, North Carolina; and Mark Oglesby of Howell High School in Howell, Michigan.

2010 ACETA Recipients

Teachers from Florida, Nevada and Wisconsin were selected for the 2010 ACETA honors. The recipients were: Jacki Viana of Hialeah Middle School in Miami, Florida; Milton Hyams of Incline High School in Incline Village, Nevada; and Tamara Johnson of Kettle Moraine High School in Wales, Wisconsin

2009 ACETA Recipients



Teachers from South Carolina, Virginia, and Wyoming were selected for the 2009 ACETA honors. The recipients were: Nate Breen of Cheyenne Central High School in Cheyenne, Wyo.; Sarah Ann Richardson Turpin of Clemson Elementary School in Clemson, S.C.; and Gregory Walsh of Falls Church High School in Fairfax County, Va.



2008 ACETA Recipients


In 2008, the ACETA program recognized Sally Broughton of Monforton School in Bozeman, Mont.; Cheryl Cook-Kallio of Irvington High School in Fremont, Calif.; and Julie Kuhnhein of Highlands High School in Fort Thomas, Ky.


2007 ACETA Recipients


The winners of the 2007 ACETA awards were Mary Ellen Daneels of Community High School in West Chicago, Ill., Barbara Simpson Ector of Cleveland Middle School in Cleveland, Tenn., and Kevin Fox of Arcadia High School in Arcadia, Calif.



2006 ACETA Recipients


The inaugural class of ACETA winners was Christopher Cavanaugh of Plainfield High School in Plainfield, Ind.; Galelyn McElroy of Central High School Magnet Career Academy in Louisville, Ky.; and Donna Paoletti Phillips of Robert Frost Middle School in Rockville, Md.





About

CCE LogoThis site is brought to you by the Center for Civic Education. The Center's mission is to promote an enlightened and responsible citizenry committed to democratic principles and actively engaged in the practice of democracy. The Center has reached more than 30 million students and their teachers since 1965. Learn more.

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