Essays by Award-Winning Teachers of American History Selected for Upcoming Book on Why History Matters

Driving Force Institute Continues to Invite Submissions for Consideration and $500 Awards

FLORENCE, S.C., Nov. 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Driving Force Institute for Public Engagement (DFI), a non-profit focused on transforming how American history is taught and learned by empowering teachers to better engage students, announces the first teachers whose essays have been selected for inclusion in the upcoming book, Why History Matters: American History Teachers Speak Out. The book will showcase teachers’ insights on the importance of American history education and their first-hand accounts of successfully inspiring the next generations to understand and appreciate it.

DFI continues to consider submissions for inclusion in the book on a rolling basis until the end of the year. Current and former K-16 teachers of American history are invited to submit original essays up to 1,000 words for consideration for publication in the book. Authors chosen to be featured will be awarded $500 each. All book sales proceeds will be donated to education nonprofits. Submission, deadline, and more information is available at

Original essays from these ten teachers will be featured in Why History Matters: American History Teachers Speak Out, scheduled for release in early 2023:

  • Gregory J.K. García, Jr., Portland, OR – 2021 Gilder Lehrman Oregon History Teacher of the Year
  • Kelly Beckett, Georgetown, KY – assistant principal; former middle school social studies teacher
  • Kim Eggborn, Ellicott City, MD – district coordinator of elementary social studies; former teacher
  • Kyung Ah Lee, Sugar Hill, GA – elementary school teacher with nine years of experience
  • Lisa Rauschart, Washington, DC – 2022 Gilder Lehrman National History Teacher of the Year finalist
  • Manuela (Angel) Bandres Tari, Brighton, CO – 2022 Gilder Lehrman Colorado History Teacher of the Year
  • Robert Coven, Apex, NC – education researcher and high school history teacher; Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction
  • Robert Fenster, Hillsborough, NJ – National Teachers Hall of Fame 2022 inductee
  • Thomas Leighty, Dover, DE – 2021 Gilder Lehrman Delaware History Teacher of the Year
  • William Kibler, Laveen, AZ – 2021 Gilder Lehrman Arizona History Teacher of the Year

“Engagement is fundamental to effective learning. This book will showcase how teachers are better connecting American history to the interests and passions of today’s students,” said DFI CEO Patrick Riccards.

Driving Force Institute (DFI) strives to transform the way American history is taught and learned so students are engaged in understanding and appreciating our nation’s history and can see the relevance of it to their interests and futures. Working with tens of thousands of educators and millions of K-12 students, DFI produces award-winning provocative, short-form videos for its Telly-award- winning “Untold History” initiative that shares stories of the people, the events, and artifacts that are essential to our nation’s story, but are too often not taught in a K-12 survey history course. DFI has partnered in its mission with a range of organizations including Makematic, DoGoodery, American Battlefield Trust, iCivics, Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative, NY Historical Society, Smithsonian National Museum of American History, and White House Historical Association, among others. Twitter: @ForceofHistory

SOURCE Driving Force Institute