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Press Release - Free Kat Perkins Concert Coming to the ND Heritage Center

Contact: Neil Howe

Free Kat Perkins Concert Coming to the ND Heritage Center

BISMARCK — Ellen Ista, an elementary school teacher at Kindred Public School in Kindred, has been named the 2015 North Dakota History Teacher of the Year. The award is co-sponsored by The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, HISTORY® and Preserve America. The North Dakota History Teacher of the Year Award is coordinated by Neil Howe, coordinator of the North Dakota Studies program at the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Ellen Ista has been teaching at the Kindred Public School since 1987. As an elementary teacher, Ista understands and appreciates the importance of teaching history. Ista said, “To make history come alive and have meaning or interest to elementary students, they need a concrete foundation to which they can connect the abstract events of the past. Field trips to historic sites, museums, and the state capitol create first-hand experiences which help give meaning to the information students read throughout the school year.” According to Ista, “When fourth graders have experienced North Dakota history, they are ready to move on to experiencing more American history – and a lifetime of learning.”

Ista will receive a $1,000 honorarium, and the Kindred Public School library will receive a core archive of history books and educational materials from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and HISTORY®. In addition, Kindred Public School will be named a Gilder Lehrman Affiliate School.

Inaugurated in 2004, the National History Teacher of the Year Award promotes and celebrates the teaching of American history in classrooms across the United States. The award honors one exceptional K-12 teacher of American history from each of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense schools and US Territories.

The 2015 award honors elementary school teachers. The selection of the state winner is based upon several criteria, including: at least three years of classroom experience in teaching American history; a demonstrated commitment to teaching American history (including state and local history); evidence of creativity and imagination in the classroom; effective use of documents, artifacts, historic sites, oral histories, and other primary resources to engage students with American history.

About the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Founded in 1994 by Richard Gilder and Lewis Lehrman, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is a nonprofit organization devoted to the improvement of history education. The Institute has developed programs for schools, teachers, and students that now operate in all fifty states, including a website that features the 60,000 unique historical documents in the Gilder Lehrman Collection, Each year the Institute offers support and resources to tens of thousands of teachers, and through them enhances the education of more than a million students. The Institute’s programs have been recognized by awards from the White House, the National Endowment of the Humanities, and the Organization of American Historians.

HISTORY® and HISTORY HD® are the leading destinations for non-fiction series and event specials that connect history with viewers across multiple platforms. Programming covers historical genres ranging from military history to contemporary history, technology to natural history, as well as science, archaeology and pop culture. Among the network's program offerings are hit series such as American Pickers, Ax Men, American Restoration, Ice Road Truckers, Top Gear, Pawn Stars and Top Shot, as well as acclaimed specials including Gettysburg, America the Story of Us, WWII in HD, 102 Minutes That Changed America and Life After People. HISTORY has earned four Peabody Awards, seven Primetime Emmy® Awards, 12 News & Documentary Emmy® Awards and received the Governor's Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the network's Save Our History® campaign dedicated to historic preservation and history education. Take a Veteran to School Day is the network's signature initiative connecting America's schools and communities with veterans from all wars. The HISTORY website, located at, is the leading online resource for all things history.

About Preserve America
Preserve America is a federal partnership program begun in 2003 and led by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation that encourages and highlights community efforts to preserve and enhance the cultural heritage of the United States and associated natural resources. The program’s goals include fostering greater public knowledge of, and appreciation for, the nation’s past and its cultural traditions; encouraging broader support for saving the special places that help document and tell the story of America; strengthening civic pride and participation in ways that help build and sustain communities by preserving, enhancing, and using cultural heritage; and improving local economic vitality and livability through heritage development and heritage tourism. Nearly 900 communities as well as volunteer organizations have been recognized nationwide for their heritage stewardship, tourism, and education efforts. The Preserve America program is administered by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation in cooperation with the White House, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

For more information, contact North Dakota Studies program coordinator Neil Howe at 701.205.7802 or email

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