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North Hills instructor named Pennsylvania History Teacher of the Year

July 10, 2018
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A teacher in the North Hills School District has been selected as the 2018 Pennsylvania History Teacher of the Year by a national education organization.

Joe Welch, who teaches 8th grade social studies at North Hills Middle School, received the honor from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. He was selected by a panel of teachers, administrators and scholars from throughout the state for his achievements in American history education.

The award is present annually by the New York-based institute, which is the nation’s leading organization dedicated to K-12 American history education.

Welch will receive a $1,000 cash award, an archive of books and historical resources for the middle school library and the opportunity to attend a Gilder Lehrman teaching seminar next year.

Welch is one of 53 finalists for the institute’s National History Teacher of the Year Award, which will be announced in October.

Welch has gained a reputation for using creative and innovative projects to bring American history alive for his students, according to district officials.

His philosophy for teaching history, which was included in the application process, is based on students creating stories and publishing content.

Students in Welch’s classroom have the opportunity to create animated videos, remix songs to analyze an era of American history and create illustrated children’s books to explain primary sources of historic information.

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