Haley Salitros Lancaster Named 2021 National Signature Project Award Winner!

Building and Sharing Community Knowledge

May 19, 2021 |
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The National Signature Project Award

The National Rural Education Association and Rural Schools Collaborative are proud to announce Haley Salitros Lancaster, a Lincoln High School teacher in Vincennes, Indiana, as the 2021 National Signature Project Award recipient for her place-based project, "Building and Sharing Community Knowledge".

Learn more about Place-Based Education


About Haley

Haley Salitros Lancaster has been teaching English at her alma mater Lincoln High School since 2006. She holds her bachelors and masters degrees in English from Indiana State University. As a Vincennes native, she is passionate about sharing Indiana history in her classroom and in her community.

Haley is a National Park Service volunteer and a member of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, as well as other genealogical societies. She is a winner of the 2016 WTHI-TV10 Golden Apple Award, and in 2014 she was named Indiana Daughters of the American Revolution’s Outstanding Junior Member. She began sponsoring Lincoln’s George Rogers Clark NHP Youth Advisory Council in 2020. She lives in Vincennes with her husband TJ and son Henry.

About "Building and Sharing Community Knowledge" Project

The George Rogers Clark Youth Advisory Council is a volunteer group of Lincoln High School students that works closely with the National Parks Service Site, the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park. YAC students are in grades 9-12 and meet on school property during school hours, but often work with students in the Indiana History elective, when offered.

This place-based education project will fund an installation of a wayside on park property that would be entirely researched and designed by the students. Waysides are large infographic signs used to educate park visitors on a range of topics. Students will work with park rangers to choose an appropriate topic such as: Francis Vigo, local French inhabitants, or the 1778 oaths of allegiance to England and Virginia.

Students will conduct research at the local library, the National Park, and interview local historians. They will conduct original photography as needed and collaborate with graphic designers and the park rangers to design the wayside.

YAC students assist the park in keeping programming relevant to the community and with local youth. Often, they assist as tour guides and volunteers at local events. Some continue to serve as park volunteers after high school. This project will have a lasting impact on the park property and improve community outreach, and it would be the first of its kind for this student group.

We are thrilled to support Haley's student-driven project that connects participants to the history and landscapes of their region. Congratulations, Haley!

The National Signature Project Award selects one exemplary place-based project every school year. Lancaster is the fourth National Signature Project Award Recipient, following Connie Michael of Montana in 2020, Devon Barker-Hicks of Idaho in 2019, and Andrea Wood of Wyoming in 2018.

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