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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 Kansas City, Missouri, October 23-27, 2024. 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 2024 conference theme, “Free Soil? Migration, Dispossession, and Rising Up on Contested Ground.” (We consider the North American West to include northern Mexico and western Canada as well as the western United States.)

-2024 Awards Cycle opens January 15, 2024

-2024 Award Submission Deadline: August 1, 2024

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

Conference Theme:

The WHA 2024 conference theme is “Free Soil? Migration, Dispossession, and Rising Up on Contested Ground.”

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




Molly Dettmann, Norman Public Schools 

Emma Dudrick, University of Notre Dame Alliance for Catholic Education Teaching Fellows

Kathleen Miller, St. Turibius School

Liam Concannon, Notre Dame Academy
Matthew Todd Gragg, Capitol Hill High School

Colleena Bibeau, Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
Collin Gortner, St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School
Sean James, Gesu Catholic School
Taylor Still, St. Therese Catholic School


Katie Ward, St. John Paul II Catholic School

Sandra Garcia, Theodore Roosevelt Middle School

Alexander Hernandez, Cristo Rey High School

Katherine Wiedenhoft, Annunciation Catholic School


Alex Barr, Connelly School of the Holy Child

Laura Fenerty, Holy Trinity School

Sandra Garcia, Theodore Roosevelt Middle School

Noël Ingram, DaVinci Communications High School


Joshua Dempsey, St. John the Baptist Catholic School, Milpitas, California

Jonathan Shulman, La Jolla Country Day School, La Jolla, California

Carol Warren, Gila River Community Public Schools, Sacaton, Arizona

Cherry Whipple, Austin High School, Austin, Texas


Liam Concannon, Saint Martin de Porres Academy, New Haven, Connecticut 

Kelly GriffithGuadalupe Regional Middle School, Brownsville, Texas

Porsia TunziLa Reina High School and Middle School, Thousand Oaks, California

Helen M. VassilouAdena Elementary School, West Chester Township, Ohio


Brendan Bell, Cristo Rey High School, Sacramento, California

Ruth Ferris, Washington Elementary School, Billings, Montana

Shauna Hirota, Kailua Intermediate School, Kailua Hawai'i

Donna Moore and Dalton Savage, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma


Peter Prindiville, St. Patrick Catholic High School, Biloxi, Mississippi


Heather Penrod and Diane Wilson, Reseda High School, Los Angeles

Michael Kennedy, Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary High School, Montebello, Los Angeles

Mitch Askew, Flagstaff High School, Flagstaff, Arizona, and Molly Golden, Alpine Leadership Academy at Mount Elden Middle School, Flagstaff, Arizona


Edel Mooney

Mark Johnson, Concordia International School Shanghai

Heather Penrod and Diane Wilson, Reseda High School, Los Angeles

Daniel Thele


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

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!