Jeni Boulanger Named 2022 California History Teacher of the Year

Jeni Boulanger

OAK HILLS, CALIFORNIA (DATE, 2022): JENI BOULANGER, a teacher at OAK HILLS HIGH SCHOOL in Oak Hills, California, has been named the 2022 CALIFORNIA 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.

“Knowledgeable and impassioned teachers bring our country's history to life for students, allowing them to understand engaging with history is about more than a series of facts,” said James G. Basker, President of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. “Teachers are the lifeblood of our students’ education, and these are the best of the best. 

Jeni Boulanger is a High Desert native, and she was inspired into education by her parents, Patty Yancey and John Kurtz who both taught for over 40 years in the High Desert. Since beginning to teach in 1995, Boulanger taught at Adelanto Middle School, Cobalt Middle School, and Pinon Mesa Middle School, before moving to Oak Hills High in 2016 where she currently teaches US History and Courtroom Debate (Mock Trial). Boulanger’s passion is to make history relevant and engaging for her students. “It breaks my heart when students come into my classroom hating history or believing it doesn’t matter. I embrace the challenge to change their minds,” said Boulanger.

“I have seen Jeni Boulanger pique the interests of students from US History, to Courtroom Debate. She cultivates a warm, passionate and rigorous environment that stretches students towards excellence” said Jennifer Calderon, assistant principal of Oak Hills High School.

In addition to a $1,000 honorarium, Boulanger receives a core archive of American history books and Gilder Lehrman educational materials, recognition at a local ceremony in her honor, and becomes one of 53 finalists for the 2022 National History Teacher of the Year Award.

The winner of this year’s National History Teacher of the Year Award will be announced in October 2022. Past presenters of the award include the Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor, Good Morning America's Robin Roberts, First Lady Laura Bush, former US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Nominations for the 2023 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 2023 nominations is April 30, 2023.