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College of Education alumna wins award as nation’s top history teacher

Posted: 01/18/2012

Emily Weiss, a history teacher at Grayslake North High School in Grayslake, Ill., and a 2009 graduate of Roosevelt’s master’s program in secondary education, has won the 2011 PBS (Public Broadcasting System) Teacher of Merit Award.

After only two years of teaching, Weiss was named as the single most exceptional young high school history teacher in the nation and was recognized for using innovative practices in the classroom during the National History Day competition held at the University of Maryland College Park Campus in the Washington, D.C., area in June.

“It is wonderful to be recognized by my colleagues and students,” said Weiss, who has been involved in History Day activities and promotion of the event since she was a Roosevelt student. “I was fortunate to have a solid background as a teacher, thanks to my studies at Roosevelt University,” added Weiss, who credits her Roosevelt University experience with preparing her to put students in control of their own learning.

Weiss and students from Grayslake High School made presentations on research, shedding new light on a variety of historical topics and events during a regional History Day competition in Chicago as well as at the national event.

While at Roosevelt, Weiss learned about History Day and the Chicago Metro History Fair from one of her mentors, Roosevelt Associate Professor of Secondary Education Nona Burney.