April Deener, a teacher at Edythe J. Hayes Middle School (Fayette County), has been named the 2018 Kentucky History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, a nonprofit organization dedicated to K-12 history education. The award is presented to a teacher who finds creative ways to bring history alive in the classroom and in his or her community.
Deener has taught 8th-grade history for eight years. She engages students with vibrant historical themes, using music, art, literature, economic theory and strategic analysis to give them a multisensory appreciation of the material in hopes that they will become active and responsible citizens.
She will receive a $1,000 award and an archive of materials for her classroom, as well as an invitation to a week-long seminar that will offer teachers daily discussions with eminent historians, visits to historic sites and hands-on work with primary sources. She becomes one of 53 finalists for the National History Teacher of the Year award, which carries a $10,000 prize and will be announced in October.