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Overcash Named 2021 Virginia History Teacher of the Year


Dr. Benjamin Overcash, a teacher at Trailside Middle School, has been named the 2021 Virginia History Teacher of the Year. Overcash rose to the top spot in Virginia over a record number of 8,510 nationwide nominees for this award presented annually by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to K-12 American history education.

Overcash brings a wealth of knowledge to his students from his studies and teachings during the past decade. He is entering his third year of teaching U.S. History at Trailside Middle School. Overcash holds his doctorate in Ancient History from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, as well as a master’s degree in Ancient History and graduate diploma in education from Macquarie. Prior to his time in Sydney, Overcash received his master’s degree in Biblical Studies from Asbury Theological Seminary. He also received his bachelor’s degree in religion from Southern Wesleyan University.

When he is not in the classroom, Overcash enjoys reading, cooking and traveling and still finds time to research, write and publish historical texts.

In addition to a $1,000 honorarium for Overcash, Trailside Middle School will receive a core archive of American history books and Gilder Lehrman educational materials at a recognition ceremony honoring Overcash to be held later this year.

The 10 finalists for the National History Teacher of the Year Award will be announced on Thursday, September 9, with the national winner announced later that month. An in-person ceremony for the winner will be held in late fall 2021, health and safety protocols permitting. Support for the National History Teacher of the Year Award ceremony is provided by HISTORY®.

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. In fall 2021, the National History Teacher of the Year will be selected from the pool of state winners.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History was founded in 1994 by Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, lifelong supporters of American history education. The Institute is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to K–12 history education while also serving the general public. Its mission is to promote the knowledge and understanding of American history through educational programs and resources.





Published July 20, 2021