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Bruce Lesh was a high school teacher and social studies department chair for twenty-two years in Baltimore County Public Schools, where he taught American history, world history, and Advanced Placement United States Politics and Government. A past president of the Maryland Council for the Social Studies and vice-chair of the National Council for History Education, Bruce published three units on teaching American history using primary sources through the Center for Learning. He has also been published several times in the OAH Magazine of History and written book reviews for The History Teacher. He cofounded and served as a member of the board of directors for the Center for History Education at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. In 2008 he was recognized as the precollegiate Teacher of the Year by the Organization of American Historians and in 2013 was named Maryland Secondary Social Studies Teacher of the Year.
Bruce received his bachelor's degree in history and political science from Salisbury University and his master's degree in history from Villanova University. "Teaching was more of a calling than a choice," Bruce says. "My family has always been connected to public service. Teaching is a way of paying back the efforts that others made to help me along life's path. The opportunity to connect a subject matter I love—history—with my desire to help others made teaching a logical profession for me."
What Bruce loves most about teaching is making historical events come to life for his students. "It is that magic moment when a student gains an appreciation for the past that fuels my desire to stay in the classroom," he says. "Having an opportunity to affect the thoughts and actions of another person gives power to my profession and energizes my passion for the classroom."
Bruce believes professional development is important for teachers because it connects them with other professionals facing similar challenges. "The interaction engendered by quality professional development provides a forum for teachers to link the realities of their instructional environment to new evidence found in research. It allows the intellectual batteries to be recharged."
Bruce is a lifelong resident of Maryland and enjoys reading, exercising, coaching, and being a dad and husband.