Saline Resident and Airport Teacher Adam Sakel Named 2022 Michigan History Teacher of the Year


Saline resident Adam Sakel, a teacher at Airport High School in Carleton, has been named the 2022 Michigan History Teacher of the Year, an award presented annually by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in New York City, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to K-12 American history education.

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 US Territories.

“Knowledgeable and impassioned teachers bring our country's history to life for students, allowing them to understand engaging with history is about more than a series of facts,” said James G. Basker, President of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. “Teachers are the lifeblood of our students’ education, and these are the best of the best.”

A resident of Saline, Michigan and a graduate of Bowling Green State University, Adam Sakel joined the Airport Community Schools in 2010. His classes promote student inquiry, make connections between the past and the present, and encourage students to share their knowledge with the world. Mr. Sakel has regularly partnered with Monroe county’s library and museum systems, as well as regional museums to make history personal and relevant for his students. His students have not only been behind the scenes with museum staffs but have created their own history exhibits that make connections between their local community and national events.

In addition to a $1,000 honorarium, Mr. Sakel receives a core archive of American history books and Gilder Lehrman educational materials, recognition at a local ceremony in their honor, and becomes one of 53 finalists for the 2022 National History Teacher of the Year Award.

The winner of this year’s National History Teacher of the Year Award will be announced in October 2022. Past presenters of the award include the Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor, Good Morning America's Robin Roberts, First Lady Laura Bush, former US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Nominations for the 2023 History Teacher of the Year awards are now open. Students, parents, colleagues, and supervisors may nominate K-12 teachers for the award by visiting The deadline for 2023 nominations is April 30, 2023.

About the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History was founded in 1994 by Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, visionaries and 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.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is supported through the generosity of individuals, corporations, and foundations. The Institute’s programs have been recognized by awards from the White House, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Organization of American Historians, the Council of Independent Colleges, and the National Daughters of the American Revolution.

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