Photo: John Zingale receives SAR award

Photo: Jeff Lightburn, left, and Tom Boardman, right, of the Ft. Vancouver SAR Chapter, present John Zingale  History Teacher of the Year Award

History teacher John Zingale brings the past to life for his middle school students at Vancouver iTech Preparatory. His hands-on teaching style recently earned Zingale the distinction of top middle school history teacher in the country, an award given by the Sons of the American Revolution. 

Said Zingale, “My students aren’t just passively learning about history. The students experience history, and learn the skills to make them more informed and engaged citizens.”

Zingale’s hands-on teaching style has students thinking like historians by researching, analyzing and evaluating primary and secondary sources of information. To showcase their learning, students collaborate to engineer, design and create museum exhibits, documentaries, plays and websites.

“I have never opened a textbook in his class, but that doesn’t take away from my learning,” said student Kaitlin Medina. “Mr. Z teaches us about history in the present day. This means working on projects that relate to the current times, or using a new website to show our project in a new and fun way. It is not about what he is teaching, but the lessons you learn on your own throughout his class.”

Zingale and Battle Ground Public Schools elementary teacher Linda Korum were honored with the Dr. Tom and Betty Lawrence History Teacher of the Year Award given by the Sons of the American Revolution. The local Fort Vancouver Chapter of the SAR nominated Zingale and Korum for the national awards.

Zingale will receive a scholarship valued at $3,000 to cover tuition and expenses to attend a teacher workshop or seminar on the American Revolution.