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Governor's Awards for History Descriptions

Robinson Memorial Award
A. Description: The highest and most prestigious award given for history in South Dakota, this award is named for Doane Robinson and his son Will G. Robinson, who began collecting the priceless artifacts and relics which led to the development of the Robinson Museum (Cultural Heritage Museum) as it is known today. The award is given only periodically to the most deserving individuals.
B. Qualifications: The qualification for this award is a lifetime of dedicated and distinguished service to the preservation of the history of South Dakota.
C. Procedure: Persons may be nominated by either the Board of Trustees or the Historical Society staff. Nominations are introduced during the regular State Historical Society Board meetings, and are recorded on the Robinson Memorial Award nomination form.
D. Selection: Nominees are evaluated and recommended by the Awards committee, whereupon a final candidate is chosen by the Board of Trustees.
E. Award Description: A unique, personalized award will be given to each recipient. In addition, the person's name will be listed on the Governor's Awards for History display in the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre.

Herbert S. Schell Award
A. Description: Formerly the Robinson Award, this award was first awarded in 1974 and renamed in 1989 to honor Dr. Herbert S. Schell, the first person to receive the Will G. Robinson Award. Dr. Schell is the leading published authority on South Dakota history. The award was created to honor the author of the most outstanding article published in South Dakota History in each volume.
B. Qualifications: The recipient must have had an article published in the given volume of South Dakota History
C. Procedure: All published articles in South Dakota History are considered for this award both before publication by outside readers and afterward by the Publications Awards Committee.
D. Selection: The five member Publications Awards Committee judges the year's major articles according to the following criteria: (1) The depth of scholarly research; (2) the readability of the article; and (3) the contributions the article makes to the historical knowledge of South Dakota and the surrounding region. The Schell Award winner is then submitted to the Western History Association to compete for the prestigious Billington Award.
E. Award Description: The winner of the Schell Award will receive a personalized award and a $250 cash award. In addition, the winner will also have his/her name listed on the Governor's Awards for History display in the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre.

Individual Award
A. Description: Introduced in 1989, this annual award was created to honor an individual whose efforts demonstrate outstanding dedication and commitment to excellence in the sharing and preservation of South Dakota history. These efforts can be in such forms as written, audiovisual, oral works, etc., and in such fields as archaeology, museology, fund-raising, etc.
B. Qualifications: To receive this award, the recipient must be shown to have been a supportive and dedicated advocate for South Dakota history.
C. Procedure: Nominations may be made by anyone on the Individual Award for History nomination form.
D. Selection: The nominees will be screened and one candidate recommended to the State Historical Society Board of Trustees by the Awards Committee (made up of three Board of Trustee members appointed by the Board President). The Society Board of Trustees will make the final approval.
E. Award Description: The Individual Award recipient will receive a personalized award and will also have his/her name listed on the Governor's Awards for History display in the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre.

Organizational Award
A. Description: Begun in 1989, this award is given annually to one organization whose efforts demonstrate outstanding dedication and commitment to excellence in the sharing and preservation of South Dakota history.
B. Qualifications: The organization must be shown to have been a staunch supporter of South Dakota history, and it must show exemplary service to this cause.
C. Procedure: Nominations may be made by anyone on the Organizational Award for History nomination form.
D. Selection: The nominees will be screened and one candidate recommended to the State Historical Society Board of Trustees by the Awards Committee (made up of three Board of Trustee members appointed by the Board President). The Society Board of Trustees will make the final approval.
E. Award Description: The Organizational Award winner will receive a personalized award and will also have their name listed on the Governor's Awards for History display in the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre.

History Teacher of the Year Award
A. Description: Established in 1989, the History Teacher of the Year Award was created to recognize and honor those persons exhibiting excellence in teaching history to elementary through high school students.
B. Qualifications: The nominees may be either elementary teachers or secondary teachers of history or social studies in public or private schools. They must be teaching at least half-time during a school year and have a minimum of three years teaching experience in their field or the history field.
C. Procedure: Teachers may be nominated by students, parents of students, colleagues, administrators, or any person who is familiar with the teacher's work. After all nominations have been received, the nominees are sent an application packet which is filled out and returned for the judging committee to review.
D. Selection: The Awards Committee sets up a separate judging committee each year consisting of four individuals knowledgeable in the field of education to review the nominees. Qualifying nominees are then recommended to the Awards Committee, which reviews the nominees and recommends one to the Board of Trustees. If approved by the Board, this nominee is named the award recipient.
E. Award Description: The recipient of this award will be presented with a personalized award and will have his/her name listed on the Governor's Awards for History display in the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre.