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July 23, 2014
By Summer Lowe, media relations assistant
Northwest Missouri State University alumnus James Hardy, a high school history teacher at East Union Community School in Afton, Iowa, has been named the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History’s 2014 Iowa History Teacher of the Year.
Hardy was selected for the award by a panel of teachers, administrators and academics from Iowa for his use of primary documents in the classroom as well as the level of inspiration he provides to his students and his career achievements in education. Last year, Hardy also was recognized with the Daughters of American Revolution’s 2013 American History Teacher of the Year in Iowa.
“One of the most rewarding experiences in life is teaching,” Hardy said. “It is without a doubt that I refer to teaching as an experience due to the fact that I believe in being a life time learner.”
Hardy earned his Bachelor of Science degree in education in 1990 and obtained his master’s degree in 2000, both from Northwest.
“Northwest provided me with a solid foundation for teaching, and it provided me with the tools necessary to develop into the instructor I am today, not only in the educational field but also in the various content fields of history, political science and geography,” Hardy said.
Hardy also says he appreciated the ways his instructors challenged him, and their lessons continue to influence his teaching today.
“As an instructor, I have appreciated the ability to develop strong relationships in order to find avenues of interest to challenge and motivate students intellectually,” Hardy said. “It has been extremely important to formatively assess where the students are at in a learning progression so that I may differentiate properly to meet their learning needs.”
Hardy has taught at East Union Community School for 17 years, in addition to coaching high school girls basketball, volleyball and high school boys football and track. For the past 14 years, he also has taught at Southwestern Community college in Creston, Iowa,
“We are very proud to have Mr. Hardy as one of our outstanding teachers at East Union,” said Dr. Vogel, superintendent of the East Union Community School District. “He has consistently demonstrated outstanding leadership. I am not at all surprised that he has been recognized with this award and he is most deserving.”
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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