Moll wins Arkansas History Teacher of the Year award
BY CHLOE KILPATRICK
The Gilder Lehrman Institute recognized Haas Hall Fayetteville history teacher Rebecca Moll as the 2017 Arkansas History Teacher of the Year.
Moll was first introduced to the Gilder Lehrman Institute in the summer of 2016 at their learning institute at the University of Texas at Austin. She was nominated in the fall of 2016 and was informed of her victory last summer but received her award in a special ceremony at the Haas Hall Academy Fayetteville campus with the Arkansas Department of Education on Nov. 14.
Moll’s original career plan was to enter the foreign service for the U.S. government and then to do data analysis for a bank in Missouri. She never planned to be a teacher, but she believes that her career choice is due to both the opportunity Haas Hall presented her and her family, who started both the Fayetteville Female Seminary and a missionary school in Connecticut.
“Genetically, teaching is ingrained in me,” Moll said. “Both of my grandmas were teachers, and my dad is a professor. It goes back six generations, all the way to the 1700s.”
Those who have taken one of Moll’s classes are well-aware of the intriguing spin she puts on teaching history, something she is dedicated to doing.
“History is in everything. Being able to tell a story is important because it allows you to captivate scholars on the subject matter,” Moll said. “I love listening to and telling stories and finding the histories within them. I remember my mom making a history lesson out of every road trip in North Carolina, Tennessee and Maryland.”
History isn’t Moll’s only passion at Haas Hall; she is also passionate about instilling something she calls “lifelong learning” in every scholar she teaches. Sometimes this requires more hands-on learning activities that get students more involved in the story, such as reenacting debates on joining the Treaty of Versailles and tea-time with Warren G. Harding.
“Mrs. Moll’s teachings are unorthodox in the best kind of way,” junior Seylor Cluck said. “She challenges us, relates to us, but most of all, she prepares us for the future she believes we can have.”
Along with the recognition, the Gilder Lehrman Institute has given Moll the opportunity to attend another learning institute, with possibilities such as the institute on Thomas Jefferson and the Enlightenment at the University of Edinburgh.
Rebecca Moll Day is now recognized on Nov. 14 at Haas Hall Academy for her excellence in teaching many years at Haas Hall with an in-school day of learning.