Sarah Bailey Named 2020 Maine History Teacher of the Year

2020 history teacher of the year Sarah Bailey

Sarah Bailey, a teacher at South Portland High School, has been named the 2020 Maine State History Teacher of the Year, an award presented annually by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to K-12 American history education.

Inaugurated in 2004, the History Teacher of the Year Award highlights the crucial importance of history education by honoring exceptional American history teachers from elementary school through high school. The award honors one K-12 teacher from each state, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense schools and US Territories. In fall 2020, the National History Teacher of the Year will be selected from the pool of state winners.

Sarah Baily, Social Studies Teacher and Department Chair at South Portland High School, is a most deserving recipient of this prestigious honor. In 2003, she received a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education Social Studies with a double minor in American History and Business from Colby Sawyer College, and in 2004, she completed a one-year intensive program to receive a Master’s of Science in Secondary Education Social Studies from the University of Connecticut. Sarah Bailey’s dedication to learning has been a hallmark of her classroom. She has earned certifications in digital learning and as a National Geographic Certified educator, and her students have received the benefit of teaching that brings many different parts of the globe into her classroom. Sarah Bailey has high expectations for her students and helps them rise to any challenge. She has received many awards during her teaching career, including being chosen as a National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) presenter multiple times. Sarah is also a featured presenter for National Council for Geography. In 2017 Sarah was recognized by the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine as an outstanding teacher for her teaching on the Holocaust. She was also a member of the Maine DOE Social Studies Teacher Leader Cohort during the 2018-19 school year and led webinars for the Maine DOE during the 2019-20 school year. When not teaching and learning, Sarah enjoys spending time with her family, and is an avid reader, traveler, and beachgoer.

In addition to a $1,000 honorarium, Sarah Bailey’s school will receive a core archive of American history books and Gilder Lehrman educational materials and recognition at a ceremony in Maine.

Nominations for the 2021 History Teacher of the Year awards are now open. Students, parents, colleagues, and supervisors may nominate K-12 teachers for the award by visiting The deadline for 2021 nominations is March 31, 2021.