East Kentwood Teacher Named National History Teacher of the Year
Michigan Department of Education Press Release LANSING – East Kentwood High School history teacher Matthew Vriesman has been named the 2023 National History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
Vriesman teaches Advanced Placement (AP) United States History, AP World History, and AP African American Studies and is the Model United Nations director at East Kentwood High School.
“This is a great honor for Mr. Vriesman, who is a strong example of the great educators we have in Michigan schools who inspire our young people on a daily basis,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. “Outstanding teachers like Mr. Vriesman recognize that teaching the comprehensive history of our nation, state, and communities is essential to building knowledge, understanding, and empathy among our students.”
Vriesman was selected among the more than 7,000 educators nominated for the 2023 National History Teacher of the Year Award by parents, students, teachers, and administrators nationwide.
The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History’s national selection committee said that Vriesman’s teaching stood out for his exceptional ability to tell the story of American history through the lens of his community. His efforts include working with the Grand Rapids Museum to tell the story of the Great Migration through the experiences of Blacks to Grand Rapids and having his students use historical archives and primary source documents to build a historic virtual tour of western Michigan.
Vriesman will be honored today at a ceremony held at the Harvard Club in New York City and receive a check for $10,000.
As the 2023 National History Teacher of the Year, Vriesman will serve as an ambassador for the teaching community and a thought leader on the importance of high-quality American history education for all, particularly students from underserved communities.
Now in its 20th year, the National History Teacher of the Year Award highlights the crucial importance of history education by honoring exceptional American history teachers from elementary through high school. The annual award honors one K–12 teacher from each state, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense schools, and U.S. territories and names one of the state winners the National History Teacher of the Year.