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Toni Gorrell named 2022 Kentucky History Teacher of the Year

Frankfort, KY (July 15, 2022) Toni Gorrell, a teacher at East Carter Middle School in Grayson, Kentucky, has been named the 2022 Kentucky History Teacher of the Year, an award presented annually by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to K-12 American history education.

Toni Gorrell attended Morehead State University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in history in 2010 and completed a master’s degree in teaching in 2012. Gorrell has been teaching at East Carter Middle School since 2012, where she also serves on the School-Based Decision Making Council and Leadership Committee. She is also the school’s History Department Chair and cheerleading coach. Gorrell has a passion for teaching history. When her students start the year saying, “Why do we need to know this?!” Gorrell challenges herself to bring history to life and prove its importance. Gorrell uses history to help her students analyze, think critically, and offer solutions to problems they encounter. Gorrell says, “If students want to change the world, they start by learning its history.” 

In addition to a $1,000 honorarium, Toni Gorrell receives a core archive of American history books and Gilder Lehrman educational materials, recognition at a local ceremony in their honor, and becomes one of 53 finalists for the 2022 National History Teacher of the Year Award.

Inaugurated in 2004, the History Teacher of the Year Award highlights the crucial importance of history education by honoring exceptional American history teachers from elementary school through high school. The award honors one K-12 teacher from each state, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense schools and US Territories. 

“Knowledgeable and impassioned teachers bring our country's history to life for students, allowing them to understand engaging with history is about more than a series of facts,” said James G. Basker, President of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. “Teachers are the lifeblood of our students’ education, and these are the best of the best.”

Nominations for the 2023 History Teacher of the Year awards are now open. Students, parents, colleagues, and supervisors may nominate K-12 teachers for the award by visiting The deadline for 2023 nominations is April 30, 2023. 

About the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History was founded in 1994 by Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, visionaries and lifelong supporters of American history education. The Institute is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to K–12 history education while also serving the general public. Its mission is to promote the knowledge and understanding of American history through educational programs and resources.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is supported through the generosity of individuals, corporations, and foundations. The Institute’s programs have been recognized by awards from the White House, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Organization of American Historians, the Council of Independent Colleges, and the National Daughters of the American Revolution.


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