For 30 minutes, Eileen Sheehy, a history and U.S. government teacher from West High and Montana’s 2013 teacher of the year, had to instruct a panel of judges on the intricacies of the second amendment.
“I felt really good about it,” she said.
She was in Washington, D.C., to demonstrate her skills to representatives of the National Education Association Foundation. They honored her — and four other teachers from across the country — with the 2014 Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence.
With the award comes a $10,000 prize. The students from her classes at West worked on iPads given by the Pearson Foundation to create a short a digital video used to introduce Sheehy to the NEA Foundation.
“It was a big deal for me,” Sheehy said.
The award is designed to recognize, reward and promote excellence in teaching and advocacy for the teaching profession.
“Eileen has been selected for this award by her peers because she has attained the highest teaching standards, as shown by her exemplary instruction, advocacy for the profession, attention to diversity, leadership in professional development, and engagement of parents and community,” Harriet Sanford, President and CEO of the NEA Foundation, said in a statement. “Honoring these educators is our way of thanking them for their excellent work.”