Sarah Bailey Courtesy photo

SCARBOROUGH — Sarah Bailey, a Scarborough resident and teacher at South Portland High School, has been named the 2020 Maine State History Teacher of the Year.  The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to K-12 American history education, according to a press release from the institute, presents the award each year.

Baily, a Social Studies teacher and department chair at South Portland High School, is a most deserving recipient of this prestigious honor, according to the release.

In 2003, she received a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education Social Studies with a double minor in American History and Business from Colby Sawyer College, and in 2004, she completed a one-year intensive program to receive a master’s degree in Secondary Education Social Studies from the University of Connecticut.

Bailey’s dedication to learning has been a hallmark of her classroom, according to the release. She has earned certifications in digital learning and as a National Geographic Certified educator, and her students have received the benefit of teaching that brings many different parts of the globe into her classroom.

Bailey has high expectations for her students and helps them rise to any challenge, the release states. She has received many awards during her teaching career, including being chosen as a National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) presenter in 2021, 2020 and 2019 on climate change and about how consuming bugs can help to save the planet. She is also a featured presenter for National Council for Geography. In 2017 Sarah was recognized by the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine as an outstanding teacher for her teaching on the Holocaust.

When not teaching and learning, Bailey spends time with her family, and is an avid reader, traveler, and beachgoer.

In addition to a $1,000 honorarium, Sarah Bailey’s school will receive a core archive of American history books and Gilder Lehrman educational materials and recognition at a ceremony in Maine.

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 U.S. Territories.

In fall 2020, the National History Teacher of the Year will be selected from the pool of state winners.

Nominations for the 2021 History Teacher of the Year awards are now open. Students, parents, colleagues, and supervisors may nominate K-12 teachers for the award by visiting The deadline for 2021 nominations is March 31.

Now celebrating its 25th year, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History was founded in 1994 by Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, visionaries and lifelong supporters of American history education. The Institute is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to K–12 history education while also serving the general public. Its mission is to promote the knowledge and understanding of American history through educational programs and

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history,  according to the release. Drawing on the 70,000 documents in the Gilder Lehrman Collection and an extensive network of eminent historians, the Institute provides teachers, students, and the general public with direct access to unique primary source materials. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity the Institute’s programs have been recognized by awards from the White House, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Organization of American Historians, and the Council of Independent Colleges.

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