Historical Hall of Fame: Susan  Verdelli Groundwater, of Bennet ES, is Virginia's 2007 "History Teacher of the Year" recognized in the VDOE/Gilder - Lehrman National Competition
Virginia History Series
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Prince William County history teacher Susan Groundwater  was named Virginia's 2007 Preserve America History Teacher of the Year. Groundwater is a fifth-grade U.S. history teacher and social studies lead teacher at Bennett Elementary School in Manassas.
 
Groundwater, a former television news anchor and reporter, left a career in communications and advertising to become a classroom teacher through Virginia's nationally known "career switcher" program. Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Linda M. Wallinger of the Virginia Department of Education presented the award in a reception at the school.  Groundwater is known for her ability to bring history to life through the use of primary documents and "hands on" activities. For example, her students gain an appreciation for the experiences of Union and Confederate soldiers by examining muster rolls, learning 19th-century infantry drills, creating regimental flags and visiting Civil War battlefields. Groundwater's students deepen their understanding of course content by reading historical novels and by researching and writing position papers on issues and controversies in American history.

"Susan Groundwater believes all children can learn challenging content," said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Billy K. Cannaday Jr. "Her approach to teaching history engages students and results in consistently high levels of achievement."
 
The History Teacher of the Year Award is co-sponsored by Preserve America and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and is designed to promote, celebrate, encourage and honor the teaching of history in America's classrooms. Preserve America is a White House initiative that encourages and supports community efforts to retain America's cultural and natural heritage.
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Betsy Barton, (DOE) VA State Social Studies Coord. & Manager of the VA Preserve America Program, Announcing the Award