Teachers from New York, Washington, D.C., and Florida Win 2022 American Civic Education Teacher Awards

The Center for Civic Education, Center on Representative Government, and the National Education Association are pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 American Civic Education Teacher Awards: Justin T. Hubbard of Salamanca High School in Salamanca, New York; Shelina Warren of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C.; and Tony Pirotta of Jule F. Sumner High School in Riverview, Florida.

The ACETA awards recognize civics and government teachers who have demonstrated exceptional expertise, dynamism, and creativity in motivating students to learn about the Constitution, U.S. government at the federal, state, and local levels, and public policy. 

The ACETA program also informs the public of the challenges of teaching and the different conditions under which teachers serve the public good. The awardees share a passion for civic education and its role in supporting democratic norms. 

“I am very proud and honored to receive this award,” said ACETA award winner Justin T. Hubbard. “Civic education is vital for the survival of democracy, and I will use this award to motivate me to continue my work in this extremely important field.”

Hubbard has taught social studies for eight years at Salamanca High School, located in the Allegany Territory of the Seneca Nation of Indians. Based on his personal background and experience serving an impoverished community, Hubbard strongly believes in acting as an advocate and activist for justice and human rights through civic education. 

Shelina Warren believes in the importance of empowering her students and teaching them, through civic education, to enact change in their communities. 

“I'm so thankful to win this national civics award,” said Warren. “President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, ‘We cannot always build a future for our youth, but we can always build our youth for the future.’ I build my youth for the future by exposing them to civic empowerment opportunities! My students push me to be the best that I can be, and for that, I will be forever grateful to them for teaching me.” 

Warren partners with area institutions, such as Georgetown Law School and American University Washington College of Law, and connects students with policy stakeholders, including Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, to learn about the systems around them and how to use their voice. Warren has been teaching for 19 years, six at her present school. Warren is pursuing a doctorate from John Hopkins University in urban leadership focused on student civic empowerment. 

Tony Pirotta, who has been teaching for 15 years, helps his students work with local officials to pass legislation that is meaningful in their everyday lives.

“It is truly an honor to be recognized by the outstanding organizations involved in selecting the winners of such a prestigious national award,” said Pirotta. “Knowing that there are so many people like myself who have a passion for helping people, young and old, better understand their role in our nation's democratic process, it is truly humbling to have been selected as one of this year's ACETA award winners. I am grateful for those that wrote letters on my behalf recognizing the work I put into my passion for civic education and love for the democratic process. I am appreciative of the hard work, dedication, and educational growth of my students this award represents.” 

ACETA award winners and everyone involved with the program represent the diversity of the American public- and private-school systems. To be considered for this award, recipients must be full-time classroom teachers of grades K–12. 

Congratulations to this year’s winners!



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