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Phil Duncan
Center on Congress at Indiana University

Tam Taylor
Center for Civic Education

Michelle Hudgins
National Education Association

Last modified: Thursday, April 28, 2011

Center on Congress recognizes teachers with civic education awards

April 28, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Teachers from California, Michigan and North Carolina are recipients of the 2011 American Civic Education Teacher Awards, recognizing their exemplary work preparing young people to become informed and engaged citizens.

The ACETA winners are: Jim Bentley of Foulks Ranch Elementary School in Elk Grove, Calif.; Cindy Jarrett of Durant Road Elementary School in Raleigh, N.C.; and Mark Oglesby of Howell High School in Howell, Mich.

Lee Hamilton

Lee Hamilton

The awards are sponsored by the Center on Congress at Indiana University, the Center for Civic Education and the National Education Association. They are given annually to elementary and secondary teachers of civics, government and related subjects who have demonstrated exceptional expertise, dynamism and creativity in motivating students to learn about the Constitution, Congress and public policy.

"In order to succeed, our representative democracy requires wisdom and action from American citizens," said Lee Hamilton, director of the Center on Congress. "These three teachers bring terrific creativity and energy to the vital task of helping young people gain the knowledge and skills they need to work within the political system to make our nation better."

The ACETA winners receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., in July to participate in an educational program that includes visits to the Capitol, the National Archives and the U.S. Supreme Court, and meetings with congressional staff and other key officials. They will formally receive their award at a dinner in their honor on July 17.

Each year the ACETA program selects and showcases three teachers whose students represent the diversity of the American public and private school systems. Applicants must be full-time classroom teachers of grades K-12. There is no fee to apply. In addition to a two-page self-portrait essay, applicants must submit three letters of recommendation -- two from teaching peers and one from their school principal.

With the recognition this year of Bentley, Jarrett and Oglesby, the ACETA program has now honored 18 teachers since the awards were first given in 2006. Previous recipients were from Indiana, Wyoming, Montana, Illinois, Tennessee, Nevada, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Maryland, South Carolina, Florida and Virginia.

The Center on Congress is a nonpartisan educational institution established in 1999 to help improve the public's understanding of Congress and to encourage civic engagement. It is supported in part by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at IU Bloomington. The center is located on the IU Bloomington campus in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

More information about ACETA and current and past award recipients is available from the Center on Congress website.