Charles Redd Center Teaching Western History Award

The Western History Association and the Charles Redd Center are sponsoring four K-12 Teaching awards that will provide teachers the opportunity to attend and present at the Western History Association Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, October 16-19, 2019. Selected teachers will share their lesson plans and teaching strategies at a teaching panel on Saturday, October 19. Click here to view a list of past recipients.  

The Award includes the following: conference registration, award ceremony ticket, ticket to the opening reception, and $500 towards conference-related costs. An added benefit is the opportunity to be in conversation with leading scholars in the field of Western history, with your lesson ideas and pedagogical expertise adding significantly to the field.

Application Materials Must Include:

  • One-page resume
  • Short statement (one page) of how winning the award will benefit you and your students
  • Lesson Plan (any grade level K-12) on the North American West pertaining to the 2019 conference theme, “What happens in the West doesn't stay in the West.” (We consider the North American West to include northern Mexico and western Canada as well as the western United States.)

Award Submission Deadline: August 1, 2019

Conference Theme:

The WHA 2019 conference theme is “What happens in the West doesn’t stay in the West,” emphasizing approaches that challenge traditional ways of thinking about western history.

As you consider lesson plan development you may consider what preconceived notions students bring to the study of western history, how you challenge and complicate student thinking on these subjects, and what innovative approaches can best be employed to encourage students to look at western history in new ways.

How do you present the North American West to your students and strive to reflect the broad horizons that encompass the histories of the region? What teaching strategies are most effective when teaching the American West? What primary sources work well in your lessons?

The lesson plan must include examples of Active Learning and Assessment and be factually correct. Include a bibliography of materials and sources used to create the lesson and reference any historical scholarship upon which the lesson is based.

View and circulate the Redd Center Teaching Award Announcement here, and the Lesson Plan Criteria here. Please direct all materials and questions to the chair of the committee, Steven Fountain at

* All applicants for the award consent to the Western History Association and the Charles Redd Center posting winning lessons on their websites and other publications. Your work will remain your own and you will be given credit in any digital or print reproductions of your work.

2019 Award Committee

Steven Fountain, Chair
 Washington State Univ., Vancouver

 Andrea (Mott) Glessner
Western Wyoming Comm. College

 William De Stefano
 Tucson K-12 Teacher

Peter Blodgett
 The Huntington Library

2017 Charles Redd Center Teaching Western History Award Winners Porsia Tunzi, Liam Concannon, Helen M. Vassilou, and Kelly Griffith (left to right) accompanied by chair of the Committee on Teaching and Public Education, Mark Johnson (far left), and Brian Q. Cannon, director of the Charles Redd Center at BYU (third from the right).  

Past Recipients


Joshua Dempsey, St. John the Baptist Catholic School, Milpitas, California, "'(Non-Asian) Workers of the World, Unite!': Remembering the 1916 Preparedness Bombing in San Francisco"

Jonathan Shulman, La Jolla Country Day School, La Jolla, California, "The Plots Against America"

Carol Warren, Gila River Community Public Schools, Sacaton, Arizona, "A River Through Time"

Cherry Whipple, Austin High School, Austin, Texas, "American Indian Imagery in the American Southwest Region"


Liam Concannon, Saint Martin de Porres Academy, New Haven, Connecticut, Nipo Strongheart and the Influence of Media” 

Kelly GriffithGuadalupe Regional Middle School, Brownsville, Texas, "Clashing and Mingling: One City, Many Cultures” 

Porsia TunziLa Reina High School and Middle Schoo, Thousand Oaks, California, "Homeboy Industries: A Path to Rehabilitation in Los Angeles

Helen M. VassilouAdena Elementary School, West Chester Township, Ohio, "Analyzing the History of Immigration America: Reflections of New Immigrants in American Schools" 


Brendan Bell, Cristo Rey High School, Sacramento, California, "California and the Western Foundation for Educational Equality in Schools: A Side-By-Side Comparison of Legal Methods and Development of Educational Rights Through Westminster v. Mendez and Brown v. Board of Education"

Ruth Ferris, Washington Elementary School, Billings, Montana, "Expanding Western Horizons: Looking at the Fur Trade Through Multiple Perspectives"

Shauna Hirota
, Kailua Intermediate School, Kailua Hawai'i, "Analyzing the History and Impact of Racial Identification"

Donna Moore
and Dalton Savage, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, "Oklahoma History, The 1930s: Reconstructing Memory - How did the Great Depression define Oklahoma?"


Peter Prindiville, St. Patrick Catholic High School, Biloxi, MS, "Building and Breaking Barriers at the Oregonian Ballot Box: Voters, Courts and Personal Liberty in the American West", Prindiville is also a teaching fellow with the University of Notre Dame's Alliance for Catholic Education


Heather Penrod and Diane Wilson, Reseda High School, Los Angeles, "Global Warming in the West"

Michael Kennedy, Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary High School, Montebello, Los Angeles, "Railroads: Economic and Cultural Significance across the Continents."

Mitch Askew, Flagstaff High School, Flagstaff, Arizona, and Molly Golden, Alpine Leadersip Academy at Mount Elden Middle School, Flagstaff, AZ, "The Bisbee Deportation"


Edel Mooney, "The Gold Rush and the Central Valley"

Mark Johnson, Concordia International School Shanghai, "Anti-Chinese Sentiments in the US-Mexican Borderlands"

Heather Penrod and Diane Wilson, Reseda High School, Los Angeles, "Vital Signs vs. Homelessness in the American West"

Daniel Thele, "The Arizona Ethnic Studies Controversy"


Meaghan Crowley, "Native Americans: An Integrated Elementary Lesson"

Mark Johnson, Concordia International School Shanghai, "'His Death Avenged!:' Empowering Students as Historians to Understand the Chinese Experience in the American West"

Kevin Kimberly, "America Expands West: Development or Intrusion?"

Karie Lynch, "Women of the 19th Century Prarie"

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The WHA is hosted on the campus of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and benefits from the generous support of the College of Arts and Sciences.

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