NEW YORK (AP) – First lady Laura Bush on Friday gave a national history teacher of the year award to a high school instructor who advocates the use of authentic, original sources in the classroom.

David Mitchell, who teaches at the Masconomet Regional High School in Topsfield in northeastern Massachusetts, received the 2008 Preserve America History Teacher of the Year award in a New York City ceremony.

Mitchell has taught American history at the Massachusetts school since 1995. He wrote a master’s thesis on the effectiveness of primary sources in 11th grade U.S. history courses.

The first lady, Preserve America’s honorary chair, praised Mitchell for his enthusiasm and his constant search for new chances to teach and learn.

Mitchell started his career in 1991 in Baltimore, Maryland, in the Teach for America program, which requires two years commitment to teach in urban and rural public schools.

He is a member of the National Council for the Social Studies, and past regional coordinator for the National History Day Competition.

The award recognizes teachers of history for their creativity and imagination in the classroom, attention to primary materials and demonstrated effectiveness in improving students’ knowledge of American history.

The award is co-sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

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