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For More Information Contact the Public Information Office:
    Tarah Ortley
    Kathryn Forsyth, Director

For Release: August 8, 2006

Warren Hills Regional High School Teacher Named
New Jersey History Teacher of the Year

Jesse O’Neill, a social studies teacher at Warren Hills Regional High School in Washington, New Jersey, has been named New Jersey History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and Preserve America.

O’Neill, a resident of Easton, Pennsylvania, will receive a $1,000 check and will be in the running for the National History Teacher of the Year award to be selected this fall. The national winner will attend a recognition ceremony to mark the 2006-07 school year.

Warren Hills Regional High School’s library will receive a core archive of history books and materials from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. These materials include reproductions of historical documents from the institute’s vast collection.

First given in 2004, the History Teacher of the Year Award is part of an initiative for teachers with a career commitment to teaching history, creativity, and imagination in classrooms across the United States.

It honors one exceptional K-12 teacher of American history from each state and U.S. territory. The state winner is selected based on the following criteria: experience in teaching American history for at least three years, a deep career commitment to teaching American history, evidence of creativity and imagination in the classroom, and close attention to documents, artifacts, historic sites, and the other primary materials of history.

“The goal (of the award) is to give recognition to people who don’t get it and to put teachers out front for what they’re doing,” Institute spokesman Eric Sharfstein said.

O’Neill received teaching certificates in English and History from Penn State University, and said teaching is in his blood. His father was a second-grade teacher, and his mother works for the Head Start program.

Before joining Warren Hills on a full-time basis five years ago, O’Neill worked as a long-term substitute in the district and at Easton Area High School. He currently teaches history and English to 10th and 11th-graders.

New Jersey designated Dale Baumwoll, a sixth grade American history teacher in Randolph Middle School in Randolph, Morris County, as runner-up in this year’s program. Baumwoll was selected for her dedication to middle school aged students.

Founded in 1994, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History promotes the study and love of American history. Increasingly national and international in scope, it targets audiences ranging from students to scholars to the general public.

Preserve America is a White House initiative that encourages greater shared knowledge about the nation’s past and increased local participation in preserving the country’s cultural and national heritage assets.

For more information, please contact the New Jersey Department of Education, Public Information Office at (609) 292-1126.