A St. Clair High School social studies teacher received a surprise visit from Rep. Nate Tate earlier this year recognizing him for his recent accomplishment.
The Missourian reported in July that social studies teacher Robert Prichard was selected as the 2017 Missouri History Teacher of the Year by Gilder Lehrman Institute of the American History.
The Missouri Council for History Education conference was Sept. 20 at the Federal Reserve Bank in St. Louis where Prichard received his award.
After St. Clair High School’s Veterans Day assembly Nov. 10, Tate surprised Prichard with a courtesy resolution for winning the 2017 Missouri History Teach of the Year title. The surprise happened during one of his classes.
Tate told The Missourian that his office was notified of Prichard’s award. Although Tate did not know Prichard personally, he said he had heard positive things about him.
“He seems to be well respected and I thought ‘You know what? We need to do something for him,’ ” Tate said.
“Everybody knows, I think, how hard teachers work and anytime we can give them help or recognition, I think we should take that opportunity to do so,” he said.
Prichard said he was “pleasantly surprised” when Tate presented him with the resolution.
“He could’ve just called or sent an email, but it meant a lot that he came in person to do that,” Prichard said.
He also noted that Tate attended the high school’s Veterans Day assembly beforehand.
“I think it’s nice that he came to our Veterans Day assembly. I think it’s nice that he took time out of his schedule to come to our school,” Prichard said.
The Missouri Council for History Education conference was in conjunction with the Illinois Council for History Education, according to Prichard.
“I got to meet people from different schools and colleges and universities, so it’s always humbling to see all the different professionals there,” he said.
He added that past winners were there and he had an opportunity to speak with them.
Receiving the award was “humbling,” Prichard said.
“There’s many people who are deserving of the award, so I’m sure it’s difficult for them to pick.”
It is not just him teaching social studies to students at St. Clair High, he added.
“It’s all the whole department,” he said.
About the Award
The Missouri History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History recognizes exceptional K-12 American history teachers from each state, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense schools and U.S. territories.
The award comes with a $1,000 check and an invitation to the 2018 Gilder Lehrman Teacher Seminar, which is a weeklong program that offers teachers the opportunity to speak with eminent historians, to visit historic sites, and hands-on work with primary sources.
The St. Clair High School library received education materials from Gilder Lehrman. Prichard also has the opportunity to go to the 2018 or 2019 Gilder Lehrman Teacher Seminar.
Founded in 1994 by philanthropists Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is the nation’s leading organization dedicated to K-12 American history education.
The institute’s mission is to promote the knowledge and understanding of American history through educational programs and resources.
Drawing on the 65,000 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.
Below is the wording of the courtesy resolution presented to Prichard.
“Whereas, the members of the Missouri House of Representatives welcome with pleasure the opportunity to recognize a remarkable Missouri citizen whose efforts and accomplishments have made him a source of inspiration to all those around him; and
“Whereas, Robert W. Prichard, Jr., of St. Clair, Missouri, has been chosen as a recipient of the Missouri History Teacher of the Year award, a most impressive accolade bestowed upon him by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History; and
“Whereas, founded in 1994 by philanthropists Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is the nation’s leading American history organization dedicated to K-12 education with it’s mission to promote the knowledge and understanding of American history through educational programs and resources;and
“Whereas, the Gilder Lehrman Institute promotes the study and love of American history through a wide array of programs and exhibitions for teachers, students, historians, and the general public, from week-long seminars and other professional development opportunities to traveling and online exhibitions and, since 2004, committees in each state have selected a State Teacher of the Year as the recipient of this prestigious award; and
“Whereas, Robert Prichard is also a recipient of the St. Clair High School Teacher of the Year award, the St. Clair Chamber of Commerce Teacher of the Year award, and the St. Clair R-XIII School District Teacher of the Year award; and
“Whereas, Robert Prichard is a dynamic and innovative teacher at St. Clair High School, where he has helped youngsters form a solid educational foundation upon which to build in the future, efforts which have earned him a reputation as a fair and motivated teacher who takes a personal interest in every student’s individual learning style; and
“Whereas, in addition, Robert Prichard has enjoyed recognition by serving as an Adjunct Professor of History at East Central College and Missouri Baptist University, and being a member of the Missouri State Teachers Association, the Community Teachers Organization, Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society, and is a community advocate for Autism Speaks; and
“Whereas, an active member of Washington First United Pentecostal Church, Robert Prichard has been blessed with the love and support of a wonderful family whose members include his wife, Melissa Prichard; two sons,Robert W. Prichard, III, and Barrett L. Prichard; and his parents, Sharon and Robert W. Prichard, Sr.:
“Now, therefore, be it resolved that we, the members of the Missouri House of Representatives,Ninety-ninth General Assembly, join in extending our most hearty congratulations to Robert Prichard for his selection to receive the 2017 Missouri History Teacher of the Year award and in further wishing him continued success in all future endeavors; and
“Be it further resolved that the Chief Clerk of the Missouri House of Representatives be instructed to prepare a properly inscribed copy of this resolution for Robert W. Prichard, Jr.”