VFW Announces 2016 National Teacher Award Winners

Recipients to be honored during the VFW’s 117th National Convention

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) proudly announces the names of three teachers selected as national winners in its annual citizenship education contest.2016 Teacher of the Year Awards

There are three categories of competition: elementary school (K-5), middle school (6-8) and high school (9-12). 

Jessica Mosley, a fourth-grade teacher at Park Intermediate School in Weiser, Idaho, and a member of the United States Navy Reserve, was named the winner at the elementary school level for her ardent involvement in the school’s annual Veterans Day assembly and commitment to teaching civic responsibility.

At the middle school level, Donna Kregelka, an eighth-grade social studies teacher at Chippewa Middle School in Okemos, Mich., was named the winner for her involvement in the school’s Valentines for Veterans program, its annual Veterans Day assembly and her dedication to instilling a sense of patriotism in her student through education.

William Ellery, a history teacher at Carmel High School in Carmel, Ind., was selected at the high school level for his creation of the school’s Veterans Day Convocation and Luncheon, and for his commitment to teaching his students the role of veterans in providing them with “the very freedoms under which they prosper.” 

Each teacher receives a $1,000 award for their professional development and another $1,000 for their school. In addition, all three teachers receive an all-expense-paid trip to Charlotte, N.C., where the awards will be presented during the 117th VFW National Convention, July 23-27.

“Next to parents, teachers are key to influencing students in becoming young civic-minded patriots who will perpetuate the values that have made this nation great,” said VFW National Commander John A. Biedrzycki Jr., a retired high school history teacher from Pittsburgh. “This year’s award recipients exemplify this responsibility by sharing their passion with students, and actively molding tomorrow’s leaders every day.”  

Enacted in 1999, the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award recognizes three exceptional teachers for their outstanding commitment to teach Americanism and patriotism to their students. Recipients are selected from entries submitted by local VFW Posts in the U.S. and overseas areas. The entries detail a local teacher’s act of promoting civic responsibility, flag etiquette and patriotism in the classroom.