Mahwah Teacher Named NJ's 'Teacher Of The Year'
Yvonne Beatrice's Daughters of the American Revolution award marks the second time she's been named 'teacher of the year'
For the second time in three years, a Mahwah High School teacher has been named the best in the state.
Yvonne Beatrice, who has been teaching US History in Mahwah for a dozen years, has been named the Daughters of the American Revolution ‘Outstanding Teacher of American History’ for 2012.
According to the DAR, the teacher selected as the best each year must have “the ability to foster the spirit of American patriotism and loyal support of our country and constitutional government, and demonstrate the ability to relate the subject of modern life and events.”
Mahwah resident Susan Augusto, a Regent with the Saddle River Chapter of the DAR, nominated Beatrice for the award. “Yvonne’s passion and commitment is inspiring,” she said of Beatrice’s teaching methods. Augusto said a committee of DAR representatives considered Beatrice and several other nominees from around New Jersey for the award before deciding on a recipient. “To my knowledge, she is the first winner from our area.”
Beatrice is no stranger to the recognition. In 2010, her hands-on teaching methods gained her the title of New Jersey State Preserve American History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Committees who decided on both recognitions seemed impressed with the MHS teacher’s willingness to get her students out in the community to learn.
“My students attend public meetings, candidates nights, and local government functions,” Beatrice explained. Each year, students also complete a “Meet Mahwah” project, which requires research in the field and the use of primary sources. “The project is current, so it changes based on what’s going on in town,” she explained. This year, kids did a project on the controversial Crossroads Town Center development project.
Next year, Mrs. B’s students will complete an election project on local races up through the 2012 presidential race. As part of the project, each student will work for a campaign of his or her choice.
According to Augusto, the DAR chose Beatrice for the recognition based on letters of recommendation from other MHS professionals, and Beatrice’s resume and description of her philosophy of education.
The DAR “is such a prestigious organization,” Beatrice said. “I am in awe of its history. As a history teacher, to be honored by people who have been in this country for so long is just awesome.”
Still, Beatrice, who also coaches the Mahwah’s county champ mock trial team, said her students deserve “most of the credit” for the award. “They are special kids, and they are really what all of this is about.”
Augusto said Beatrice is invited to attend a DAR state seminar at the end of April to accept the recognition.