Brandywine Springs Elementary School Teacher and UD Grad is 2013 National History Teacher of the Year

This is the first time a Delaware teacher has won this award

WILMINGTON, Del. — Today, U.S. Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons, and Congressman John Carney (all D-Del.) congratulated Brandywine Springs Elementary School teacher Jill Szymanski on being named 2013 National History Teacher of the Year.

Szymanski, a 4th and 5th grade teacher at Red Clay Consolidated School District in Wilmington and a graduate of the University of Delaware, was awarded this honor by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. The National History Teacher of the Year Award (formerly the Preserve America History Teacher of the Year Award), co-sponsored by The History Channel and Preserve America, honors outstanding K-12 educators in American history. 

“I’m so proud that Delaware’s own has won this nation-wide award for teaching,” said Sen. Carper. “This award shows what we already know here in Delaware – that we have first-rate educators and students. Congratulations to Jill for her hard work in the classroom to make learning fun and challenging.”

“Congratulations to Jill Szymanski for being named National History Teacher of the Year,” said Sen. Coons. “Great teachers help make great students and this national recognition proves Jill is one of those great teachers. Her passion, skill and dedication to the craft brings the subject of history to life for her students.”

“Congratulations to Jill on this much-deserved honor.  She is a tremendous example of the smart, talented, and inspiring teachers we have working in Delaware schools every day,” said Congressman Carney.  “Jill is a leader both in and out of the classroom, and is helping all of her students reach their true
potential.  I wish her well this school year and thank her for all she does for Delaware students.”       

Szymanski incorporates a range of techniques into her teaching. Her students utilize
primary and secondary sources on their assignments, and one yearlong project culminated in a “Civil War Museum” where students became experts on themes such as the causes of the Civil War, the importance of the Battle of Gettysburg, and the impact of the Civil War on families. 

Szymanski holds a Master of Education, Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Delaware. She has co-authored signature lesson plans for the Social Studies Coalition of Delaware and serves as its district lead teacher. She also serves on Red Clay Consolidated School District’s Social Studies Curriculum Council and leads professional development history workshops for her colleagues. Szymanski has been teaching for 16 years.