2014 ALA Teacher of the Year Winners
Hillary A. Baker
Hillary Baker is a Social Studies Instructor/Academic Instructional Coach at East Kentwood High School in Kentwood, Michigan and has twenty years teaching experience. She has developed standards-based curriculum and assessment strategies for courses in U.S. History, Criminal Law, Civics and A.P. Government and Politics. She is an advisor/coach for the award-winning We the People team. Ms. Baker instituted the Model United Nations Program in her school. In addition, Ms. Baker has presented at the Michigan Council of Teachers on strategies for integrating literature in social studies classrooms. Ms. Baker has been awarded the Grand Traverse Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Educator Award and she was a nominee for the Civic Educator of the Year in Michigan in 2011. When accepting the TOY Award Ms. Baker remarked, ” It is clear that the ALA is committed to honoring educators who are trying to make a difference each day with their students.”
Andrew G. Merritt
Andrew Merritt is a National Board Certified Teacher with twenty-four years classroom experience. Currently, he teaches at State College Area High School in State College, Pennsylvania. Mr. Merritt instituted the Amend the Constitution Experience during which senior students are challenged to amend the Constitution. Mr. Merritt offers a European Union Accession Summit in his AP Comparative Government Class. In partnership with Penn State Law School, Mr. Merritt’s students conduct Constitutional Law trials, preparing briefs and presenting oral arguments before law school faculty and students. In 2005, Mr. Merritt formed at the high school Creating Awareness Using Student Engagement (CAUSE), an organization dedicated to raising awareness of local and national issues such as homelessness, poverty, Darfur and AIDS.
Michael Browning chose teaching over law. As a history teacher at Gahanna Middle School South in Gahanna, Ohio, Mr. Browning teaches Constitutional Law and American History. Recognized as a Master Teacher, he has facilitated classes at Ohio State University on the “History of the Heartland”. Mr. Browning advises teams of students for the “We the People” program; his teams have had the top score in Ohio’s competition for three of the past five years and were the first Ohio team to participate in the National Middle School “We the People” invitational in Washington, D.C.