News Release

May 24, 2019


Michael Sandstrom, an American history and civics teacher at Chadron High School in Chadron, Nebraska was recently named the 2019 State History Teacher of the Year, an award sponsored by The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

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 exceptional K-12 teacher from each state, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense schools, and U.S. territories.

Sandstrom believes civic competence and historical knowledge should have a prominent role in education. He makes history real and meaningful for his students by connecting them to their own local history and tying that to current events. “Students believe that they possess all the required information at their fingertips, but the power unleashed by the study of history does not come from the memorization of dates and random facts,” Sandstrom says. “My goal, every day, is to make history both relevant and challenging in the hope that they are better prepared for the 21st century.”

Sandstrom will receive a $1,000 award and Chadron High School will become a Gilder Lehrman Affiliate School and will receive history books and educational materials from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Sandstrom will also be a finalist for the $10,000 National History Teacher of the Year Award and will receive an invitation to the Gilder Lehrman Teacher Seminar, a weeklong program which offers teachers daily discussions with eminent historians, visits to historic sites, and hands-on work with primary sources.

Sandstrom will be honored with the award at the Nebraska State Council for the Social Studies annual conference on June 6.  More information on the conference can be found at

David Jespersen
Public Information Officer, Nebraska Department of Education