Colleyville, TX Oct. 17, 2017
Humanities Texas is pleased to announce that Wes Watters of Colleyville Heritage High School is one of thirteen recipients of the 2017 Humanities Texas Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award.
State Representative Giovanni Capriglione presented Watters with his award during a ceremony on the Colleyville Heritage High School football field before the school’s Homecoming game Thursday evening.
Humanities Texas gives annual statewide awards to encourage excellence in teaching and recognize Texas classroom teachers who have made exemplary contributions in teaching, curriculum development and extracurricular programming. The organization received nearly 700 nominations for the 2017 awards.
Watters, who has a Ph.D. in American history and has taught for 28 years, teaches AP U.S. government and macroeconomics at Colleyville Heritage High School. Watters also serves as an adjunct professor of history at Texas Christian University, a position he has held since 1998.
“Dr. Watters is a perfect example of what teaching should look like,” said Lance Groppel, principal of Colleyville Heritage High School. “His passion for his students and CHHS is unmatched.”
Watters’ creative classroom activities and assignments encourage direct engagement with government, creating a more personal and engaged learning experience. For the entire year, his students perform extensive research on an assigned member of Congress, become familiar with his or her background and legislative experience and communicate with the Congress member’s office and staff. Each election year, Watters requires his students to take an active role in a campaign of their choice. These types of activities encourage students to pay close attention to and even take an active role in their governing systems.
“A well-rounded humanities education fosters a deeper understanding of our nation’s history, the structure and function of our political system and how current events are related to both,” said Watters. “Humanities educators must be at the center of a movement to instill in Americans the importance of not only knowing our history but of how to effectively communicate and discuss ideas in a positive manner that will lead to change rather than division.”
“Mr. Watters’ enthusiasm and passion for government and history resonate with his students, leaving a lasting impression that molds the adults they become,” commented Representative Capriglione. “Over the last 20 years he has instilled patriotism and a sense of civic responsibility in Texas youth and for this I am extremely proud and grateful.”
“Humanities Texas is pleased to recognize the achievements of Wes Watters and Colleyville Heritage High School,” said Humanities Texas Executive Director Michael L. Gillette. “Dr. Watters inspires and motivates his students to succeed in the classroom and beyond.”
Watters received a $5,000 cash award, with an additional $500 for Colleyville Heritage High School to purchase instructional materials.
Humanities Texas is the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Its mission is to advance education through programs that improve the quality of classroom teaching, support libraries and museums and create opportunities for lifelong learning for all Texans.
Humanities Texas is currently accepting nominations for the 2018 Outstanding Teaching Awards. Additional information about Humanities Texas and its teacher award program is available at www.humanitiestexas.org.