Congratulations to Dr. Rhett Oldham, a history teacher at Ste. Genevieve Middle School and Ste. Genevieve High School, who has been named the 2020 Missouri History Teacher of the Year! This award is presented annually by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to K-12 American history education. Dr. Oldham is a 1981 graduate of Herculaneum High School.
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. A panel of Missouri teachers, administrators and scholars selected Dr. Oldham for his achievements in American history education.
Dr. Oldham is an educator at SGMS and SGHS, where he teaches World History, American History, and Topics and Research in History. While he is a veteran of 22 years in the classroom, Dr. Oldham believes in a Growth Mindset—that we are all lifelong learners—and he learns something new every day from his students and fellow educators to add to his ever-expanding teacher toolbox.
Not only does Dr. Oldham offer his students lessons that strengthen their understanding of their hometown area, such as visiting the Ste. Genevieve Catholic to study Gothic Revival architecture as part of a Reformation unit, but he also prioritizes building connections globally. His students meet foreign diplomats through the Adopt an Embassy program and get to know students in other countries, such as Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom. When students leave his classes, they leave with a better understanding of the world around them, and how lessons can then be applied outside of the classroom.
Dr. Oldham was a Missouri Teacher of the Year Finalist in 2019, a Fulbright-Teacher for Global Classroom Fellow (Morocco), a QFI-GEEO Award Recipient (Jordan), and a University of Illinois-Transatlantic Educator Dialogue Program Fellow. Dr. Oldham uses technology extensively in his classroom and is an EdPuzzle Certified Coach, a Flipgrid Ambassador, Symbaloo Certified, a Google Certified Educator, a Buncee Ambassador, an eMints Certified Educator, and a GoSynth Ambassador Educator.
As the 2020 Missouri History Teacher of the Year, Dr. Oldham will receive:
a Certificate of Recognition
an archive of American history books and Gilder Lehrman educational materials and historical resources
an invitation to attend a 2021 Gilder Lehrman Teacher Seminar
recognition at the Missouri ceremony
Dr. Oldham is also one of 53 finalists for the $10,000 National History Teacher of the Year Award. The award honors one K-12 teacher from each state, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense schools and US Territories. In fall 2020, the National History Teacher of the Year will be selected from the pool of winners. Ten finalists will be announced in late summer, and the winner of the national competition will be announced in early fall.
About the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Now celebrating its twenty-fifth year, 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.
At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. Drawing on the 70,000 documents in the Gilder Lehrman Collection and an extensive network of eminent historians, the Institute provides teachers, students, and the general public with direct access to unique primary source materials.
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, and the Council of Independent Colleges.