Three Teachers Selected for National Awards

Each year for the past eleven years, three exceptional teachers have been recognized by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) for their outstanding commitment to teach Americanism and patriotism to their students.

The VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award recipients are selected from entries submitted by local VFW Posts in every state, District of Columbia and overseas. There are three categories of competition: elementary school (K-5), middle school (6-8), and high school (9-12). During the competition nearly $218,000 in awards were presented to more than 1,150 teachers at various levels in the VFW.

Patricia Mazure, a K-5 teacher at William C. Taylor Elementary in Trenton, Mich., has been named the winner at the elementary school level. At the middle school level, Mark D. Leet, a teacher at Simons Middle School in Flemingsburg, Ky., was named the winner. William V. Melega, a teacher at Chapel Hill High School in Chapel Hill, N.C., was selected at the high school level. 

Each teacher receives the VFW Past Commander-in-Chief John Smart award of $1,000 for their professional development and another $1,000 goes to their school. In addition, all three teachers receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., where the awards will be presented during the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Legislative Conference, March 6-10 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City.

Steve Van Buskirk, director of VFW Programs, acknowledged, "Honoring America's teachers has been a tradition for nearly 100 years. Next to parents, they hold the key to raising up young civic-minded patriots who will perpetuate the values that have made this nation great."