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    SWS Teacher Named MOHAI Teacher of the Year
    Posted on 12/01/2016




    Chuck Nordhoff, President of the Board of Trustees at MOHAI, awards Erin Chen the MOHAI Teacher of the Year Award.

    Chen honored at MOHAI's 31st annual History Maker's Gala

    SEATILE, WA- Erin Chen, History Teacher at Seattle World School in Seattle, was recently named 2016 Educator of the Year by Seattle's Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI).

     Chen, who teaches classes for newcomer and high school English Language Learner (ELL) students, serves on the school's Creative Advantage Arts Team and Building Leadership Team.  Chen partners with local non-profit institutions to promote experiential learning opportunities for her students in and outside of the classroom.

    "Erin's work with her students, and use of MOHAl's resources both at the museum and in her classroom, truly represents MOHAl's values of fostering exploration, inquiry, and personal connections in student learning at every age," said Alyssa Matthews, Education and Youth  Programs Manager for MOHAI. "The work that she and other teachers at Seattle World School are doing is an inspiring example of how our city can become more inclusive and welcoming for all, and value the unique background that each student brings to their own education. We're so honored to present this award to Erin and to know that MOHAl's resources contribute to her work and the lives of her students."

    Seattle World School serves close to 300 students and provides middle and high school students who are new to the United States with a rigorous, supportive learning environment where culture is celebrated and multilingualism is honored and respected.
    Erin Chen

    "I feel great gratitude for our Seattle World School community and the opportunity I have to work with such incredibly eager, resilient, and kind young people," said Chen, whose students hail from countries around the world and speak almost 40 different languages.

    Chen exemplifies MOHAl's mission to help make personal connections between students and history.

    "The young history students I teach are delighted by this museum," said Chen. "How amazing to land here and receive a clear invitation to be part of the story, to be presented with such a rich, multi-layered portrait of history and then be encouraged to make personal connections! In the galleries, I see them connecting the dots between past and present. They gain confidence in their abilities as emergent historians."

        Erin Chen Teaching
                At MOHAI

      Now in its 10th year, the Educator of the Year Award honors an individual in Washington State who demonstrates dedication, innovation and excellence in the areas of history, geography and civics education.

    The award is presented during the museum's annual History Makers Gala, a fundraising event which benefits the museum's diverse education programs. The proceeds from this special event directly support MOHAl's vision to be a vibrant resource where history inspires all people to be their  best.

    MOHAl's education programs are designed to support teachers through meeting state curriculum standards, and offering professional development opportunities. Onsite programs for students complement the permanent exhibition. Students use primary sources to uncover the region's history, develop observation and critical thinking skills, and build personal connections to Seattle's past, present, and future.

    Outreach resources include themed trunks that include artifacts, audio/visual resources, and adaptable activities that are aligned to state curriculum standards. MOHAI also organizes professional development opportunities for teachers to strengthen their understanding of object­ based learning in the classroom and learn how to utilize MOHAl's exhibits and collections with their students.

    About MOHAI: MOHAI is dedicated to enriching lives through preserving, sharing, and teaching the diverse history of Seattle, the Puget Sound region, and the nation. As the largest private heritage organization in the State of Washington ; the museum engages communities through interactive exhibits, online resources, and award-winning public and youth education programs. For more information about MOHAI, please visit or call (206) 324-1126.