Full story: Gilbert History teacher receives award from National Society Daughters of the American Revolution

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WINSTED — Wendy Sultaire, a history teacher at The Gilbert School, has received an award from the Brooks-Green Woods Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution as an Outstanding Teacher of American History.
Sultaire, who has been a teacher at Gilbert for 26 years, has taught classes including World History, American History, Political Science, Civics, Introduction to Law, History through Film, Leadership, and Contemporary Issues. Aside from these history and civics courses, she is also a certified English teacher, served as Student Council advisor for 15 years, and sponsored both the school’s Earth Club and the S.W.E.E.P. (Students Working to Educate and Eliminate Prejudice) group.
Sultaire was surprised to receive the award and feels honored to have been recognized.
“I was shocked,” she wrote in an email to The Winsted Phoenix. “I know there are many outstanding American history teachers in Connecticut so to be selected is quite an honor.”
Donna Colavecchio, a regent of the Brooks-Green Woods Chapter of the NSDAR, said the chapter selected Sultaire based on nomination and her many contributions to the school community both in and outside the classroom.
“It’s important that people that are nominated are truly outstanding in their field,” Colavecchio said in an interview. “[Sultaire] had two recommendations by colleagues and then one who’s a current student. We looked at her application and just felt that what she has done in the classroom is truly outstanding.”
Colavecchio said that she and other members of the chapter were particularly struck by Sultaire’s Veterans History project, in which her American History class interviewed 10 local veterans, many of whom are Gilbert alumni, and archived their documents, letters, and photographs. The students’ projects were even sent to and accepted by the Library of Congress.
“She exposes her students to real people, and places, and experiences. It’s not just taking them on field trips. It’s bringing history into the classroom,” Colavecchio said. “Based on that, we decided that she was truly an outstanding teacher of American history.”
When asked about her favorite part of teaching at Gilbert, Sultaire did not hesitate to emphasize her love for her students.
“There are some incredible young people out there,” Sultaire wrote in her email. “They are interested in history and current events; they want to know what’s happening and why it’s happening. Many are involved in the community and want to know how to make our country and the world a better place. I love having discussions with them and giving them the tools they need to be thoughtful and productive adults.”
Ultimately, Sultaire is grateful and humble about being recognized for her teaching and looks forward to the opportunity to get back to teaching her students in-person once COVID-19 restrictions allow.
“I am very honored to receive this award. Of all the courses I have taught over the years, American History and American Government are my favorites,” Sultaire wrote. “So to be recognized for something I am passionate about is wonderful.”

Cady Stanton is a freelance journalist based in Colebrook, Conn. A graduate of Georgetown University, she has previously published articles in The Hill, The Hoya and Washington Monthly.

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