THE CIVIL RIGHTS/CIVIL LIBERTIES EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING AWARD
The Civil Rights/Civil Liberties: Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes and honors the accomplishments of a Wisconsin social studies educator in the area of Civil Rights/Civil Liberties. Nominees inspire students to be fully informed about their Civil Rights and Civil Liberties assured by the Constitution. This teacher is someone who inspires students to take informed action when they see injustices and to be a responsible contributing member of our democracy. This award serves to honor a person who is striving to continue their work advancing civil rights and civil liberties. The recipient will be recognized at the annual Wisconsin Council for the Social Studies Conference.
Nominations for The Civil Rights/ Civil Liberties Excellence in teaching award are now open!
The educator has made a significant effort to teach the concept of justice in a creative, inspiring way. This might include, but not be limited to, teaching about civil liberties, human rights, international justice, the Holocaust, genocide studies, and local issues of justice.
- For example, nominees may design a special lesson, course of study, create a school or district project, or lead their students in some way to promote civil rights or civil liberties.
- Close attention will be focused on applicants who possess the ability to expose injustice while at the same time inspire their students to repair the world through justice, service, or advocacy.
- The award winner will be asked to receive the award in person and give a short acceptance speech of 2-3 minutes on what the award means to them. The presentation will take place during the luncheon at the annual Wisconsin Council for the Social Studies Conference.
- Minimum of 3 years teaching experience
- If an elementary teacher, the applicant must be currently teaching Social Studies
- If a secondary teacher, the applicant must teach Social Studies for the majority of the day
- Will continue to teach a minimum of one year after receiving the award
- Be employed in good standing by a school district or private school located in Wisconsin
- Anyone may nominate an applicant, including self-nominations.
- At least one letter supporting the nomination must be submitted. (For self-nominations, there must be an accompanying letter of recommendation from another source).
- It should be noted that the award is not designated as a “lifetime achievement award,” but one that recognizes great teaching by any nominee with a minimum of three years’ experience.
- Deadline for completed applications is February 15, 2021.
Nomination Forms can be completed HERE.
Civil Rights/Liberties Award— David Olson (Madison)
David Olson teaches at James Madison Memorial High School in Madison, WI. Beyond teaching AP U.S. Government and Politics and Criminal Justice, David helps spread his passion for civic education by serving on the iCivics Educator Network, the Teacher Advisory Board for the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, and the Wisconsin Council for the Social Studies (WCSS) Board. In 2017, David was chosen as the WCSS High School Teacher of the Year and as a PBS Digital Innovator and Innovator All-Star in 2017 and 2018.
David graduated with degrees in Government and International Affairs and Secondary Education from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD and later received his Masters Degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin Madison. He has presented at the Midwest Political Science Association Conference, the WCSS Conference, the NCSS Conference, and the Wisconsin Public Television Education Innovation Summit. He also regularly serves as an AP Reader. David is honored to help spread his passion for Civil Liberties and the Constitution (his students can tell you he always carries a pocket Constitution in his bag).
Within his classroom, David focuses on helping students understand their Constitutional Rights. He created a Criminal Justice class, and started the AP U.S. Government and Politics course at Madison Memorial. His students grapple with their rights through Supreme Court simulations, mock elections, and interaction with professionals in the criminal justice community. David was also part of community group that evaluated the School Resource Officer program in the Madison schools and made recommendations for how to build positive relationships between students and law enforcement.