MONTPELIER - The Vermont Humanities Council is seeking nominations for the Victor R. Swenson Humanities Educator Award. The award recognizes a Vermont educator in grades 6 through 12 who exemplifies excellence in the teaching of the humanities.

The recipient receives a $1,000 check and public recognition at VHC's fall conference on November 15 at UVM's Dudley Davis Center. Last year's winner was Mount Anthony Union Middle School teacher Wayne Bell. The first recipient of the award was Graham Newell of St. Johnsbury Academy in 2003.

The award is named for Victor Swenson, VHC's first executive director, whose 28 years of service helped nourish the humanities across the state.

VHC seeks an educator who inspires his or her students and encourages in them intellectual curiosity and a lifelong love of learning. The teacher should possess extraordinary knowledge, ability, and accomplishment in the teaching of language, literature, history, social studies, or other humanities fields. The educator should exhibit infectious enthusiasm for his or her subject and learning in general, and embody a commitment to the highest standards of achievement, for him or herself and students.

Any community member may make a nomination, including parents, coworkers, current and former students, and school administrators.

The nomination process begins with a letter of nomination due at VHC's Montpelier office by May 1. Individuals may not nominate themselves. Please note that the deadline is earlier than in prior years. Nominations may be made online at www.vermonthumanities.org or mailed to Vermont Humanities Council, Victor R. Swenson Humanities Educator Award, 11 Loomis Street, Montpelier, Vermont 05602 or e-mailed to info@vermonthumanities.org. To learn more, visit vermonthumanities.org.

Letters of nomination should be at least one page, but not more than two. The nomination letter should thoroughly describe the accomplishments that qualify the nominee for the award, including his or her passion for teaching, achievements, and professional experience. Current members of the VHC board and staff and members of the judging committee are not eligible to receive the award. After reviewing the nominations, the judging committee will seek additional supporting material. The award will be announced in October 2014.

For more information, contact the Vermont Humanities Council at info@vermonthumanities.org, call 802-262-2626, or visit vermonthumanities.org.

The Vermont Humanities Council is a private nonprofit working to bring the power and the pleasure of the humanities to all Vermonters of every background and in every community. The Council strives to make Vermont a state in which every individual reads, participates in public affairs, and continues to learn throughout life.