A social studies teacher at Marist School has earned a top state honor.

José Gregory was named the 2021 Georgia History Teacher of the Year. It’s an annual award from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, an organization dedicated to K-12 American history education.

More than 8,500 teachers across the state were nominated for the award.

In the classroom, Gregory said he helps students understand why history should matter to current generations.  

“Trying to bring history to life is easier said than done, but something that is vital is to engage students and help them develop an appreciation for the subject,” Gregory told Reporter Newspapers in a statement.

“One of my main strategies is to make material as relevant as possible to their own lives and current issues being confronted by our country and the world. For example, how can we have a discussion about our ‘rights’ under the constitution without understanding the compromises made at the Constitutional Convention? Tapping into the relevance of any given issue to why it should matter to the current generations of students is what makes the main difference.”

Gregory has worked as an AP history teacher for 18 years. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Yale University and his juris doctor from University of Pennsylvania School of Law. Prior to coming to Marist, he taught at Dekalb School of the Arts.

Gregory will be in the running for National History Teacher of the Year, an honor that will be selected this fall from the pool of state winners.

Amy Wenk

Amy Wenk was editor of Reporter Newspapers in 2021-22.