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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 Los Angeles, California, October 25-28, 2023. Selected teachers will share their lesson plans and teaching strategies at panels during the conference. 

The Award includes the following: conference registration, award ceremony ticket, ticket to the opening reception, and $1,000 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 the following (please email to each committee member listed below):

  • 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 2023 conference theme, “Restorations and Repairs: Lives and Landscapes Across Many Wests.” (We consider the North American West to include northern Mexico and western Canada as well as the western United States.)

-2023 Awards Cycle opens January 25, 2023

-2023 Award Submission Deadline: August 1, 2023

The WHA office sends notifications to selected award recipients at the end of August. 

Conference Theme:

The WHA 2023 conference theme is “Restorations and Repairs: Lives and Landscapes Across Many Wests,” 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, the Lesson Plan Criteria here, and the Lesson Plan Format here. Please direct all materials and questions to the chair of the committee, Mark Bernhardt, 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.


Mark Bernhardt, Chair

Jackson State University

Peter Blodgett

The Huntington Library

Patricia Loughlin

University of Central Oklahoma

William De Stefano

Tucson K-12 Teacher

Alicia Dewey

Biola University



Liam Concannon, Notre Dame Academy, "Protocols and Politics: The History of Income Inequality for Chinese Americans."
Matthew Todd Gragg, Capitol Hill High School, "The Battle for Hetch-Hetchy."

Colleena Bibeau, Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, "American Indian Cities and Indian Centers: World War II Red-Power Era."
Collin Gortner, St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School, "Economics as a Driver of Migration to the American West: Denver City and Beyond."
Sean James, Gesu Catholic School, "Water Rights in the West: Understanding the Impact of Treaties and International Water Agreements on the Colorado River."
Taylor Still, St. Therese Catholic School, "Dearfield and Diaspora: Teaching the Legacy of Black Freedom Colonies in Colorado."


Katie Ward, St. John Paul II Catholic School, "Why Have the Ojibwe People Had to Change Where They Live Over Time?"

Sandra Garcia, Theodore Roosevelt Middle School, "American, Mexican, or Indigenous? A Case Study of the Yaqui People in Our Continent's Borderlands"

Alexander Hernandez, Cristo Rey High School, untitled plan regarding westward migration and Manifest Destiny

Katherine Wiedenhoft, Annunciation Catholic School, "Identity and Perceptions: 'Native but Foreign'"


Alex Barr, Connelly School of the Holy Child, "'Alcatraz is Not an Island': American Indian Activism from Alcatraz to the National Mall"

Laura Fenerty, Holy Trinity School, "Overshadowed and Underrepresented: Japanese-Hawaiian-Americans during World War II"

Sandra Garcia, Theodore Roosevelt Middle School, "Dissenting Voices: Lincoln & the Mexican American War"

Noël Ingram, DaVinci Communications High School, "Locked Up: The Hidden History of LA's Role in the Rise of Carceral State"


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 School, 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 Leadership 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, St. Rose of Lima Catholic Academy, Rockaway Beach, New York, "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, Holy Names of Jesus and Mary Catholic School, Memphis, Tennessee, "America Expands West: Development or Intrusion?"

Karie Lynch, Westlake High School, Westlake Village, California, "Women of the 19th Century Prairie"


Bianca Wilson Cole

Julie Haddix

Jonathan Koop

Jared McBrady


Drew Clary

Matt LaMore

Mitchell Bradford

Berta Simic


Taryn Lewis

Erin Thornton

Sarah Young


Veronica Arce

Sarah Brynaert

Kathryn Christensen

View Lesson Plans

Western History Association

University of Kansas | History Department

1445 Jayhawk Blvd. | 3650 Wescoe Hall

Lawrence, KS 66045 | 785-864-0860 

The WHA is located in the Department of History at the University of Kansas. The WHA is grateful to KU's History Department and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for their generous support!