Wausau Pilot & Review

Kevin Podeweltz, a fourth-grade teacher at Riverside Elementary, has been named the 2022 Wisconsin History Teacher of the Year, an award presented annually by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, 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.”

Kevin Podeweltz received his bachelor’s degree at UW-Stevens Point and earned his Reading 316 license from Viterbo. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Teaching American History through the Gilder Lehrman Institute and Gettysburg College. Mr. Podeweltz has been a teacher at Riverside Elementary since 2010. Using many primary sources, Mr. Podeweltz strives to bring Wisconsin History to life for his students. His passion for history always comes through. Mr. Podeweltz is very active throughout the community working at various sporting events and volunteering at his church.  

In addition to a $1,000 honorarium, Podeweltz 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 U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.