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Kevin Wagner, a history teacher at Carlisle High School, is one of three educators nationwide selected to receive a 2019 Teacher of the Year Award from the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S.

Each year, the VFW names one teacher from the elementary (K-5), middle (6-8) and high school (9-12) levels to receive the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award.

Established in 1999, the award recognizes teachers for their commitment to teaching Americanism and patriotism by promoting civic responsibility, flag etiquette and patriotism in the classroom. The award is named after former VFW National Commander John Smart and retired VFW Quartermaster General Larry Maher.

Wagner was chosen to represent the high school level because of his dedication to honoring the memory of America’s veterans. Through his “Silent Heroes” project, students explore the life and service of a local World War II veteran killed at Normandy. The students also create a webpage preserving the legacy of the veteran.

Last year, Wagner expanded his project to identify local Vietnam War veterans in the lead-up to the construction of a Vietnam Wall of Honor that displays the names of more than 213 veterans and 10 flag cases in honor of former Carlisle High School students killed during the war.

Each teacher will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Orlando, Fla., where they will be presented with a $1,000 award for professional development and $1,000 for their school during the 120th VFW National Convention, July 20-24.

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Email Joseph Cress at jcress@cumberlink.com.

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Education/History Reporter

History and education reporter for The Sentinel.