Alec Clark, an eighth grader at Lakewood Middle School, appreciates the primary sources that history teacher Cullen Cantwell brings to class. He says they make historical events more relatable.
During a recent lesson about the Boston Massacre, students read from Thomas Paine, an American revolutionary, and Thomas Preston, a captain in the British army. Clark said he looks forward to coming to Cantwell’s U.S. History class. “I really enjoy history now,” he said.
The VFW Post 921 recognized Cantwell with its Teacher of the Year award during a ceremony at the American Legion in Snohomish on Dec. 4. In addition to history, Cantwell teaches seventh grade leadership, a class that he helped start. LMS Principal Amanda Cote nominated Cullen for the award. “He has worked with students to realize that everyone has leadership potential,” she wrote in her nomination.
In his history classes, Cote wrote, Cantwell includes diverse American voices and stories. “He strives to teach students to be critical readers and thinkers, a goal that he accomplishes each year.”
Cantwell also coaches cross country and track at LHS. While the pandemic has brought challenges for teachers and students this year, Cote said, Cantwell “approaches his students with heart and a dedication to develop thoughtful citizens.”