Andrew Smith ’10 was recently named the 2017 Indiana History Teacher of the Year, an award administered nationally by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Smith received the award while working as a history teacher at Father Thomas Scecina Memorial High School in Indianapolis, and has continued to pursue excellence in teaching in his career at South Putnam Community Schools in Greencastle, Ind. as both a social studies and computer science teacher.
Inaugurated in 2004, 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. The award honors one K-12 teacher from each state, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense schools and U.S. territories.
While working towards his BA in History, Smith held a student employee position with IT Services that had a significant impact on his teaching interests. He went on to earn a master’s degree in American history from George Mason University. He joined Father Thomas Scecina Memorial High School in 2012, where he was lauded for combining his passions for history and technology in the classroom. Smith helps engage students in his coursework by connecting history and current issues directly to his students’ lives through assignments such as finance projects, analyzing community-based issues and understanding government documents. Smith also serves as president-elect of the Indiana Council for Social Studies and is up for a board seat on the National Council for Social Studies in November.
As a State History Teacher of the Year winner, Smith is automatically nominated for the National History Teacher of the Year Award. The award will be presented by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Eric Foner in New York City on Nov. 8, 2017.
While a student at HWS, Smith received his teaching certification in History through the HWS Teacher Education Program, where students learn to teach through hands-on experience in local classrooms. Smith completed a semester as a student teacher at Waterloo Middle School and was mentored by Associate Professor of Education Khuram Hussain. He was also involved with the HWS alternative newspaper, the Martini, and was a recipient of the Harold E. Klue ’27 Scholarship and the Francis A. Young ’29 Memorial Scholarship. Smith completed three minors in Russian area studies, Religious Studies and Education.