VFW Announces Three Teachers Selected for National Awards

Teachers honored for their commitment to teaching Americanism and patriotism

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Each year for the past 13 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 more than $212,000 in awards were presented to more than 1,100 teachers at various levels in the VFW.

Debra Howell, a 4th-6th grade teacher at Monte Cristo Elementary School in Granite Falls, Wash., has been named the winner at the elementary school level.  At the middle school level, Kelly McDermott, a middle school teacher at Hidden Oaks Middle School in Prior Lake, Minn., was named the winner.  George Zorman, a teacher at Mountain Home Junior High School in Mountain Home, Ark., 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 Reno, Nev., where the awards will be presented during the 2012 VFW National Convention, July 21-26.

Steve Van Buskirk, director of VFW Programs, acknowledged, "Next to parents, teachers hold the key to raising up young civic-minded patriots who will perpetuate the values that have made this nation great."