MAKING CONNECTIONS

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Robert Bindewald of New Palestine, a teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School in Indianapolis, has been honored for his efforts as a history teacher.

Bindewald was among 23 teachers selected to be a Behring Teacher Ambassador for National History Day during the 2016-17 school year according to a press release from program officials.

To be selected as one of the teachers, recipients must show outstanding creativity, commitment and inspiration in developing students’ interest in history education, the news release said. Candidates must be excellent classroom teachers who are past winners of the Behring Teacher Award in their state or affiliate program.

Bindewald wrote in an email to the Daily Reporter how the national program encourages students to discover the power of history and find their voices as writers and performers.

“Social studies was always my favorite subject in school,” he wrote. “I loved the stories that my teachers would tell and learning about different places around the world.”

Bindewald noted he didn’t always realize he would love teaching and learning so much.

“That took time for me to figure out,” he wrote. “Now that I am a teacher, I get to relive those moments of discovery over and over again. It is so neat to watch students make connections for the first time.”

Bindewald was awarded the Indiana Behring Teacher Award for classroom excellence in National History Day’s Junior division in 2015. The 2016–17 National History Day theme is Taking a Stand in History.

Throughout the school year, Behring Teacher Ambassadors work with students and teachers around the country to help them better understand the theme and to expand National History Day programs in their regions. Behring Teacher Ambassadors attend a training workshop in July and collaborate with their program’s affiliate coordinator to develop an annual strategy to help students discover the power of history.

“National History Day believes educators are the best resource a student has, and Mr. Bindewald exemplifies what it means to be an excellent educator,” said National History Day executive director Dr. Cathy Gorn in the press release. “All of these teachers are a credit to their discipline and a driving force behind the success of their students and our programs.”

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Kristy Deer is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3262 or kdeer@greenfieldreporter.com.