Mr. Caskey is the 2016 Civil War Trust National Teacher of the Year!
WEST VIRGINIA NATIVE AND UNIVERSITY HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATOR EARNS NATIONAL TEACHER OF THE YEAR HONOR
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (July 18, 2016) – University High School social studies educator Phil Caskey has been named the 2016 Civil War Trust National Teacher of the Year and garnered the award this past weekend at the Trust’s Summer Teacher’s Institute at the Omni Hotel in Richmond, Va.
“It’s hard to comprehend an honor like this,” Caskey, a Martinsburg, W.Va., native, said. “The studying of the American Civil War has been and will always be a lifelong, personal passion. It’s arguably the most important chapter of the American story and I’m privileged to be able to share my passion with my students about that tumultuous time period. To be selected by the Civil War Trust and be honored in front of colleagues from across the country is a crowning achievement as an educator. I’m very proud and I happily share this my colleagues at UHS and my brethren in Monongalia County. I can’t thank the Civil War Trust enough for this honor.”
A 21-year Morgantown resident, Caskey recently completed his third year as a social studies educator at UHS, and his third overall in secondary education, where he teaches the subjects of American Civil War Studies, Civics and Advanced Placement Research. His Civil War studies class has nearly 100 students in it the past two years and he created the course from scratch prior to the 2014-15 school year. Many of his lessons involve project-based education and experiential learning opportunities that involve historical simulations, cross curricular ventures, primary and secondary source analyses, after-action-reports and field trips.
The Civil War Trust is the largest and most effective nonprofit organization devoted to the preservation of America’s hallowed battlegrounds. Although primarily focused on the protection of Civil War battlefields, the Trust also seeks to save the battlefields connected to the Revolutionary War and War of 1812. Through educational programs and heritage tourism initiatives, the Trust seeks to inform the public about the vital role these battlefields played in determining the course of our nation’s history.
“Mr. Caskey is an asset to the University High Staff,” UHS Principal Shari Burgess said. “His ability to bring history alive for his students is unparalleled. His creativity and love for his subject are evident as he cultivates a learning environment that is collaborative, fun, and centered on student success. Mr. Caskey is most-deserving of this honor. On behalf of the UHS family, we congratulate Mr. Caskey for this achievement. It is a privilege to work with such an innovative teacher whose positive outlook on teaching should be a model for future educators.”
Caskey earned his master’s in secondary education, with an emphasis in the social studies, from West Virginia University (WVU) in December, 2012. Before returning to school to further his education and change careers, Caskey worked in the WVU athletic department for 11 years as a sports information director, where he was an award-winning public relations/sports journalist and published author. He earned his first masters, in Sport Management in 2001, and his bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Public Relations in 1999, both also from WVU. He has also been a visiting instructor in WVU’s College of Physical Activity and Sports Science Graduate Sport Management program since 2007.