WASHINGTON, D.C. – Chanhassen High School Geography and Sociology teacher Jenny Zanner Rowe received the prestigious Senior Division Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year award, worth $10,000 at this year’s Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest in Washington, D.C. This honor is bestowed upon one junior division (middle school) and one senior division (high school) teacher annually. The recipient of the national award is selected from the affiliate winners of the prize. National History Day® has affiliates in all fifty states, Washington, D.C., China, Korea, Guam, South Asia, Central America, and American Samoa. Zanner Rowe became eligible for the prize after winning Minnesota’s Senior Division Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year award. Affiliate honorees receive $500.

“Teachers are the greatest resource a student has,” said National History Day® Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “Ms. Zanner Rowe is an astounding example of the impact a teacher can have on student success. Her commitment and dedication to students helps prepare them for success after school and her contagious zeal for learning helps bring out the best in her students.”

Zanner Rowe has participated in National History Day in Minnesota for more than twenty years. In that time she established History Day participation at Hopkins High School, the Perpich Center for the Arts and Chanhassen High School. Co-sponsored by the Minnesota Historical Society and the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota, National History Day® in Minnesota engages 27,000 students each year in a transformative learning experience. The program requires students to go beyond their textbooks as they conduct in-depth research on a topic of their choosing. Students then present their research as an exhibit, documentary, performance, paper, or website. Teachers require participation in order to meet state standards for historical research and college readiness.

Zanner Rowe is an AP Human Geography and Sociology teacher at Chanhassen High School in Chanhassen, Minnesota. Since 1994, Rowe has helped students understand the importance of history for providing context to everything from physical education to physics.

“Her passion for history and her dedication to using the National History Day® program to create real-world learning opportunities for her students makes Jenny stand out among her peers,” said state program coordinator Tim Hoogland. “She guided one of her students, Jesse Heinzen, to pursue film school based on his History Day documentary -- and this advocacy put him on the path to become an award-winning, creative director for multimedia projects at the Minnesota Historical Society.” Heinzen described how the impact of her guidance “made a significant change in my college plans and I ended up in a career I had never envisioned before meeting her. I could say I owe it all to Zanner Rowe.”

Winners of the National Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award are selected by a committee of educators and historians. The panel considers commitment to student development, creativity in the classroom, and inspiring students to engage with history. National History Day® teachers can submit nominations or be nominated by a peer.

This award is sponsored by Mrs. Patricia Behring, a long-time champion of classroom teachers. She sponsors this award to recognize the expertise, commitment, and hours of work teachers spend supporting young historians preparing for the National History Day® Contest.

About National History Day: NHD is a non-profit education organization in College Park, MD. Established in 1974, NHD offers year-long academic programs that engage over half a million middle- and high-school students around the world annually in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. These research-based projects are entered into contests at the local and affiliate levels, where the top student projects have the opportunity to advance to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park. NHD also seeks to improve the quality of history education by providing professional development opportunities and curriculum materials for educators. NHD is sponsored in part by Kenneth E. Behring, Patricia Behring, HISTORY®, Jostens, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Park Service, Southwest Airlines, the Joe Weider Foundation, and the WEM 2000 Foundation of the Dorsey & Whitney Foundation. For more information, visit nhd.org.

About National History Day in Minnesota: For more information see the National History Day in Minnesota page on the Minnesota Historical Society’s website at http://education.mnhs.org/historyday. The National History Day in Minnesota program is co-sponsored by the Minnesota Historical Society and the University of Minnesota, College of Liberal Arts.

In Minnesota, 27,000 students from over 250 schools participate in the program each year. Through classroom support services and campus access programs, National History Day in Minnesota builds pathways to higher education and future success by creating transformational learning experiences for middle and high school students.

Lynne O'Hara
Director of Programs
Phone: 484-919-2595
Press Release