Alumna Amy Page, ’16, was named New Mexico’s 2020 History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lerhman Institute of American History.
A nontraditional student who had spent a dozen years as a stay at home mom before returning to earn a bachelor’s got involved with her children’s Moriarty-Edgewood School District’s National History Day even though she was in school for elementary education. Once Page got into a classroom, her passion only grew. She eventually over the district’s We The People program and the honors programs. “But in order to teach dual credit classes, I needed a master’s degree,” she said.
After entering the WNMU Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies program, Page was accepted for a James Madison Memorial Foundation Fellowship, which provided $24,000 for her graduate school experience. “I wanted something in state yet online, which I felt was going to be conducive to the flexibility and the rigor I wanted. A lot of people don’t expect outstanding faculty or a rigorous program from rural universities but the MAIS program at WNMU does that quite well,” she said, noting that WNMU influenced how she teaches. “I shifted to project-based learning and really engaging students in collegiate-level research and analysis.”
Her emphasis on using primary sources was partly how Page earned the Gilder Lerhman Institute award, which came with a $1,000 prize and a collection of books and sources for her classroom.