James Percoco

Springfield, VA | Years Taught: 1980 – Present

James believes that history did not happen inside the four walls of a classroom or between the cover of a book. It happened out int he world, and to that world students are dispatched. Rather than simply pursue textbook knowledge, students encounter real-world learning through a series of individualized field trips. For students “history” becomes not only a chronicle of past events, but a genuine predictor of the road that lies ahead. He believes that students and teachers work best together when it becomes a genuinely shared experience. He lets his students know that he likes his job, that he likes working with young people, and that he derives great joy from his students’ successes, taking them and their lives seriously. He also finds it equally important to not take himself too seriously. He believes that authentic teaching of history is really rooted in leading young people on a voyage of discovery; a journey where they uncover who they are, who they are becoming, and working to figure out their place in the world.

Additional Recognition

  • 2010 • State Teacher of the Year Award Within a Discipline, History
  • 2010 • Virginia Preserve America Teacher of the Year Award, Gilder-Lehrman Institute of History
  • 2010 • Fairfax County Virginia Certificate of Recognition
  • 2009 • Mount Vernon Teacher of the Year
  • 1998 • USA Today Award
  • 1993 • Disney Award, Social Studies Teacher of the Year
  • 1993 • Archivist’s Award of Achievement, National Archives and Records Administration