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Clay County History Teacher Wins First Place in National Essay Contest

Middleburg High School history teacher Emma Humphries was recently selected as the 2007 Winner of the George Washington Prize for Teaching America’s Founding. For her essay, Humphries received the national award and $2,500 in cash. The third year teacher was among the more than 100 educators who attended the Bill of Rights Institute’s: 2007 Landmarks in American History summer workshop in Mount Vernon, Va.

The essay contest, sponsored by the Bill of Rights Institute, called for the participants to describe how they benefited from the workshop, how their views about George Washington changed and how they would apply what they learned to the classroom. In her essay, Humphries wrote that she gained a new appreciation for Washington’s intellect and the events surrounding the nation’s birth. In Humphries’ lesson plan “The Impact of Shay’s Rebellion on George Washington,” she had her students read, analyze and interpret Washington’s letters to James Madison, John Jay, Henry Knox and others.

To view the entire essay and lesson plan, go to Essay & Lesson Plan: "Interpreting Historic Letters: the Impact of Shay's Rebellion on George Washington."