Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History names Benton's Pam Cummings as Arkansas' 2023 History Teacher of the Year

Graduation (Hoang 'Leon' Nguyen/The Republican via AP)
Graduation (Hoang 'Leon' Nguyen/The Republican via AP)

Pam Cummings, a government and history teacher at Benton High School, has been named the state’s 2023 History Teacher of the Year, an award presented by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Cummings, who will receive a $1,000 honorarium as well as history books and educational materials as a result of the Lehrman Institute Award, is now one of 53 finalists for the year’s National History Teacher.

An 11-year employee of the Benton School District, Cummings teaches Advanced Placement U.S. Government, U.S. History and world history. She is also the sponsor of the Model United Nations organization at the school

Cummings previously taught social studies courses at LISA Academy Public Charter School in Little Rock.

She is a 2018 recipient of the James Madison Memorial Fellowship for Arkansas. She has also served on the Arkansas Council for Social Studies.

Cummings has bachelor's degrees in journalism and political science. Her two master degrees are in education theory and practice and in American history and government.

Established in 2004 and celebrating its twentieth anniversary, the History Teacher of the Year award is intended to highlight the importance of history education by honoring exceptional American history teachers from elementary school through high school. The award honors one kindergarten-through-12th grade teacher from each state, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense schools, and U.S. Territories.

Nominations for the 2024 History Teacher of the Year awards are now open. Students, parents, educators, and supervisors can nominate teachers by visiting

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