Press Releases

OCTOBER 19, 2017
CONTACT: MICHAEL L. GILLETTE at (512) 440-1991

Van Teacher Receives Statewide Award

Humanities Texas is pleased to announce that Larry Wisdom of Van High School is one of thirteen recipients of the 2017 Humanities Texas Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award.

Texas State Representative Dan Flynn and Humanities Texas Program Officer Sam Moore will present Wisdom with his award during a presentation at Van High School Monday, October 23 at 10:30 a.m.

Humanities Texas presents annual statewide awards to encourage excellence in teaching and recognize Texas classroom teachers who have made exemplary contributions in teaching, curriculum development and extracurricular programming. The organization received nearly 700 nominations for the 2017 awards.

Wisdom, whose teaching career spans nearly 50 years, has taught all levels of high school theatre arts and theatre production at Van High School for the last 17 years.

“He is all-encompassing as an instructor,” said Van High School Principal Jeff Hutchins of Wisdom. “His classroom is magical, and a 45-minute class with him seems like seconds, though he may have taken his students on a journey to ancient Greece or through an insane asylum of the 1860s to discover the lessons of history at their finest.”

Wisdom sponsors the Van High School Texas University Interscholastic League (UIL) theatre team, which has made 30 state meet appearances under his direction. The team won second place last year in the Texas UIL One-Act Play statewide competition, the largest play contest in the world, with their production of Bertolt Brecht's The Caucasian Chalk Circle.

“Through the humanities, students learn to think not only creatively but also critically,” said Wisdom. “A humanities education allows us to gain new insights into everything from poetry and paintings to business models and politics. It is through a humanities education that students are empowered to make moral, spiritual and intellectual sense of the world.”

“Humanities Texas is pleased to recognize the achievements of Larry Wisdom and Van High School,” said Humanities Texas Executive Director Michael L. Gillette. “Mr. Wisdom inspires and motivates his students to succeed in the classroom and beyond.”

Wisdom will receive a $5,000 cash award, with an additional $500 for Van High School to purchase instructional materials.

Humanities Texas is the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Its mission is to advance education through programs that improve the quality of classroom teaching, support libraries and museums and create opportunities for lifelong learning for all Texans.

Humanities Texas is currently accepting nominations for the 2018 Outstanding Teaching Awards. Additional information about Humanities Texas and its teacher award program is available at

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Larry Wisdom.

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