Kentucky Historical Society
Ron Adkisson Named 2012 Kentucky History Teacher of the Year

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, September 18, 2012  
Contact Information:  Chelsea Compton
502-564-1792, ext. 4504

Chelsea Van der Gaag
Kathleen Wesner
646-366-9666, ext. 11

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 18, 2012) – Ron Adkisson, an eighth-grade teacher of U.S. history at South Oldham Middle School in Crestwood, has been named the 2012 Kentucky History Teacher of the Year. The award is co-sponsored by the Kentucky Historical Society (KHS), The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, HISTORY® and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation on behalf of its Preserve America program. 


Adkisson will receive a $1,000 honorarium and will be in the running to be named the 2012 National History Teacher of the Year this fall. South Oldham Middle School’s library will receive a core archive of history books and educational materials from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and HISTORY®. Adkisson also will be invited to a 2013 Gilder Lehrman Teacher Seminar, and South Oldham Middle School will be named a Gilder Lehrman Affiliate School.


Kent Whitworth, KHS executive director, and Stuart Sanders, KHS teacher professional services administrator, will be on hand to honor Adkisson at the Oldham County Board of Education meeting, Sept. 24 at Camden Station Elementary.


Adkisson began his career at Oil Springs Elementary School in Paintsville and has taught at Oldham South Middle School for the last 23 years. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of the Cumberlands and a master’s degree from the University of Louisville. This award comes in addition to several honors Adkisson has received at the school and state level throughout his teaching career.


“It is my greatest desire to create a classroom environment that is so awe-inspiring and engaging that the students will absolutely refuse to be absent for fear of missing something,” Adkisson said.


Inaugurated in 2004, the National History Teacher of the Year Award promotes and celebrates the teaching of American history in classrooms across the United States. The award honors one exceptional K-12 teacher of American history from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense schools and U.S. territories. 


“This award gives us the chance to recognize great history teachers across the country,” said Lesley S. Herrmann, executive director of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. “It puts exceptional educators front and center.”


The 2012 award honors middle and high school teachers of seventh through 12th grades. The award alternates, and the 2013 award will go to an elementary school teacher. The selection of the state winner is based upon several criteria, including: at least three years of classroom experience in teaching American history; a demonstrated commitment to teaching American history (including state and local history); evidence of creativity and imagination in the classroom; effective use of documents, artifacts, historic sites, oral histories and other primary resources to engage students with American history.


From the state winners, one is recognized as the National History Teacher of the Year and will be honored in a fall ceremony. The winner, together with the nominator and two of the winner’s students, will travel to the national recognition ceremony with expenses paid by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.


Nominations can be made by a student, parent, colleague, supervisor or other administrator familiar with the teacher’s work. To be considered for the 2013 award, elementary teachers must be nominated by Feb. 1, 2013. For more information about the nomination process, visit




About the Kentucky Historical Society

An agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, the Kentucky Historical Society, established in 1836, is committed to helping people understand, cherish and share Kentucky's history. The KHS history campus includes the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, the Old State Capitol and the Kentucky Military History Museum at the State Arsenal. For more information about KHS and its programs, visit


About the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

Founded in 1994 by Richard Gilder and Lewis Lehrman, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is a nonprofit organization devoted to the improvement of history education. The Institute has developed an array of programs for schools, teachers, and students that now operate in all 50 states, including a website that features the 60,000 unique historical documents in the Gilder Lehrman Collection, Each year the Institute offers support and resources to tens of thousands of teachers, and through them enhances the education of more than 1 million students. The Institute’s programs have been recognized by awards from the White House, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Organization of American Historians.



HISTORY® and HISTORY HD® are the leading destinations for revealing, award-winning original non-fiction series and event specials that connect history with viewers in an informative, immersive and entertaining manner across multiple platforms. Programming covers a diverse variety of historical genres ranging from military history to contemporary history, technology to natural history, as well as science, archaeology and pop culture. Among the network's program offerings are hit series such as “American Pickers," “Ax Men," “American Restoration,” “Ice Road Truckers,” “Top Gear,” “Pawn Stars” and “Top Shot,” as well as acclaimed specials including  “Gettysburg,” “America the Story of Us,” “WWII in HD,” “102 Minutes That Changed America” and” Life After People.” HISTORY has earned four Peabody Awards, seven Primetime Emmy® Awards, 12 News & Documentary Emmy® Awards and received the prestigious Governor's Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the network's Save Our History® campaign dedicated to historic preservation and history education. Take a Veteran to School Day is the network's signature initiative connecting America's schools and communities with veterans from all wars. The HISTORY website, located at, is the leading online resource for all things history, featuring over 20,000 videos, images, audio clips, articles and interactive features that allow visitors to dig deeper into a broad range of thousands of historical topics. For more information go to


About Preserve America

Preserve America is a federal partnership program, begun in 2003 and led by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, that encourages and highlights community efforts to preserve and enhance the priceless cultural heritage of the United States as well as associated natural resources. The program’s goals include fostering greater public knowledge of, and appreciation for, the nation’s past and its cultural traditions; encouraging broader support for saving the special places that help document and tell the story of America; strengthening civic pride and participation in ways that help build and sustain communities by preserving, enhancing and using cultural heritage; and improving local economic vitality and livability through heritage development and heritage tourism. Nearly 900 communities as well as volunteer organizations have been recognized nationwide for their heritage stewardship, tourism and education efforts. The Preserve America program is administered by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation in cooperation with the White House, the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.