EXETER — Exeter’s Cooperative Middle School (CMS) teacher, Jacob Goodwin, of Barrington, has been named the 2021 New Hampshire History Teacher of the Year. This award is given annually and was presented by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to K-12 American history education.
“It is very exciting for us to celebrate Jacob’s prestigious award,” said Dr. David Ryan, SAU 16 superintendent. “He, along with all of our SAU 16 teachers, are dedicated to teaching our youth and make positive contributions that result in educational excellence and reflect so positively across the communities we serve.”
The History Teacher of the Year Award, which began in 2004, highlights the crucial importance of history education by honoring exceptional American history teachers from elementary school through high school. Teachers are honored from each state, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense schools and U.S. Territories.
Goodwin, who has been at CMS as a history teacher for seven years, rose to the top of a list of 55 nominations from the Granite State and was one of 8,150 teachers across the nation nominated by parents, students, teachers and administrators. His nomination came from fellow Seacoast-area history teacher, Cynthia Young, who is the parent of three children taught by Goodwin. This was his third History Teacher of the Year nomination.
“The work that we do as history teachers is looking at the past through clear eyes so that we can help our world with a full heart now and into the future,” said Goodwin. “This leads to active learning and participation in our communities.”
Goodwin’s teaching career started 11 years ago as a fourth-grade City Year tutor at Manchester's Beech Street Elementary School. City Year is a community-based AmeriCorps program helping young people develop into leaders, problem solvers and more active citizens. He is a New Hampshire native who graduated from Kennett High School in 2007 and continued his education to earn a Bachelor of Arts in History and Masters of Education in Secondary Social Studies Education, as the inaugural City Year Scholar, from the University of New Hampshire (UNH). In 2015, he was named a James Madison Memorial Fellow through which he earned a Master of Arts in Political Science while taking classes at Georgetown University and UNH.
Goodwin is passionate about engaging young people as stewards of civic life and inspiring students to help others. He attributes his love of learning and community involvement to his supportive teachers over the years including the wonderful CMS colleagues and those across the Seacoast.
“This award is so meaningful,” said Goodwin, who is a sixth-grade teacher at CMS. “There have been so many teachers who have supported me along the way and that is a big part of this award. It’s all about the community and the community of teachers supporting each other on the work that we are all doing with the students.”
As part of the award, CMS will receive a core archive of American history books and Gilder Lehrman educational materials. He is expected to be recognized locally for his achievement at a ceremony.
In the fall, the National History Teacher of the Year will be selected from the pool of state winners, which includes Goodwin. The 10 finalists will be announced on September 9.
Part of SAU 16, the Exeter Region Cooperative School District includes Exeter High School, Cooperative Middle School, Seacoast School of Technology and Exeter Adult Education. SAU 16 consists of 12 schools from pre-kindergarten to adult education serving Exeter, Brentwood, Kensington, East Kingston, Newfields, and Stratham.