BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — West Virginia teacher John Quesenberry was named the National Civics Teacher of the Year for the 2023-2024 school year by the Bill of Rights Institute.

The Bill of Rights Institute is a national nonprofit organization whose goal is to advance civics and history education.

After a nationwide search involving students, community members, parents, and educators submitting civics teachers to be considered for National Civics Teacher of the Year for the 2023-2024 school year, Quesenberry, who is longtime civics teacher at Woodrow Wilson High School in Beckley, was selected.

Quesenberry received a $5,000 grand prize for being chosen as the Bill of Rights Institute National Civics Teacher of the Year.

A longtime leading advocate for civics and social studies education in West Virginia, Quesenberry, who has taught at the school for over 20 years, was also named 2022 Teacher of the Year at Woodrow Wilson High School. He is also a current executive committee member and former president for the West Virginia Council for the Social Studies.

Also known to his students as “Coach Q,” Quesenberry has spent time serving as an advisor for student organizations like Model United Nations, and coaching youth football, basketball, wrestling, and track and field.

“Civics education lays the foundation for not only equipping, but empowering and encouraging students to live out as well as defend and promote the ideals of a free and just society.”

– John Quesenberry

To Quesenberry, teaching civics gives him the opportunity to help students learn about their rights and responsibilities as citizens. He added he is really grateful for the achievement and hopes to further inspire and educate his students moving forward.

“Being able to discuss things, to have an opinion, to be willing to stand up for what you believe- but still respect somebody who thinks differently- that’s what we need in our country, and in our homes and our communities, and this is the training ground for that,” said Quesenberry.

David Bobb, Bill of Rights Institute President and CEO, also stated that civics teachers like Quesenberry are essential to getting students ready to be a part of society as engaged, informed citizens, and as lifelong learners.

“Students need a quality civics education that helps them examine the story of our country and exercise the skills of citizenship. We are honored to celebrate John Quesenberry and the many civics teachers like him for their vital work on behalf of our students and our nation.”

David Bobb, Bill of Rights Institute President and CEO