Virginia Council for the Social Studies
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2013 Virginia Council of the Social Studies Conference Official Information

Official Information:  "Virginia on the Move!"
November 1-2, 2013 at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center|Roanoke, VA

Conference at a Glance  

What To Do On Your Way To and From VCSS

The Annual Conference offers sessions for every K-12 teacher – from those beginning their professional career to seasoned veterans. Both content and pedagogical sessions are available for all levels; all of the strands represented can offer a revolution in learning for students and teachers!

Our agenda is packed with new, exciting, and informative presentations. In order to understand "Virginia on the Move" there will be content specialists offering in-depth sessions in geography, citizenship, contemporary Virginia history, and Advanced Placement United States History and World History. Enjoy the many historic and entertaining sites in charming Roanoke, Virginia.

Conference Evaluation

Please use this link to complete an evaluation after each break-out session you attend.  The same link is used for all break-out sessions.  This link will remain available for one week after the conference.  Completion of evaluations helps the VCSS Conference Planning Committee to enrich our experience for 2014.  

Updated Hotel Information:

We are very excited that so many people are coming to Roanoke for 48th Annual Virginia Conference of Social Studies Educators on Nov. 1 and 2, 2013.  Rooms are still available for Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights at the Hotel Roanoke.  However, with Thursday being Halloween, we did not expect to need as many rooms, and they are now booked for the evening.  Our apologies for the inconvenience.


We have arranged for overflow rooms at the Cambria Suites Hotel.  It is a beautiful all-suite hotel just over a mile away.  Please see attached flier for more information.  You can reserve a King Suite for $109 a night.  Please call 1-540-400-6226 and tell them you are with the VA Social Studies Conference to get this discounted rate.  Self-parking at the Hotel Roanoke is $7, which keeps the total cost under the $119 rate orginally advertised.  Cambria will provide a shuttle to the Hotel Roanoke if you arrange the times with the front desk.  


We hope this affords everyone a comfortable visit to Roanoke and the conference.  We are looking forward to seeing everyone in a few weeks.  Please spread the word on the overflow accommodations.  

Keynote Speaker:  This year's keynote speaker will be Meriwether Lewis, famed explorer of the Louisiana Territory.

Actually, it will be Mr. Richard Cheatam is an independent scholar and educator, a professional speaker and journalist.  With a passion for making important lessons from History interesting and relevant for us today, he speaks to all sorts of audiences from business executives and Congressional staff members to families and students of all ages.  He has always been fascinated by “why people do what they do” and sees History as the perfect laboratory for investigating this intriguing and important question. 


His memorable presentations, often spellbinding portrayals of people from America’s past, are designed not only to entertain but to provoke thought and additional consideration in his audience members.  His character portrayals as Pocahontas’ husband John Rolfe, Richard Henry Lee, Captain Meriwether Lewis, President John Tyler, Captain Richard Manson and others demonstrate that classic leadership and motivational lessons and fundamental human nature have not changed throughout recorded history and are not likely to in the foreseeable future.  

He is a graduate of Virginia Military Institute, one of America’s top schools of leadership, with a Degree in History and Liberal Arts.  A Virginia native, he was a syndicated weekly newspaper columnist and covered the Virginia State Capitol and the Governor’s Office for years as a television journalist. 

In addition to thousands of presentations to all sorts of groups throughout this country and internationally over the past twenty five years, he has appeared on the BBC, PBS and The Learning Channel and has been featured on Entertainment Tonight with John Tesh and Mel Gibson and on the Voice of America and in numerous newspaper and magazine articles around the country. 

Among many other projects, Dick’s business, Living History Associates, Ltd., has had the contract with the National Park Service to tell Jamestown’s story at the original site for over twenty years.  He has presented the historically accurate Jamestown story to hundreds of thousands of people, perhaps more than anyone else. 

Saturday's Keynote Speaker will be James Peroco.

James A. Percoco taught United Sates and Applied History for 32 years, from 1980-2012 at West Springfield High School in Springfield, Virginia. The recipient of numerous education awards, Percoco was one of five individuals inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame in 2011. He was selected for the first USA TODAY All-USA Teacher Team in 1998 and named Outstanding Social Studies Teacher of the Year in 1993 at the Walt Disney Company American Teacher Awards. In 2008 he was named Mount Vernon’s Teacher of the Year and in 2012 was named the Civil War Trust’s Preservationist Teacher of the Year. He is now the Director of Education for the Friends of the National WW II Memorial, a member of both the National Park Service’s Advisory Board’s Education and Centennial Committees.

His first book, A Passion for the Past: Creative Teaching of U.S. History (Heinemann, 1998) received the 2000 James Harvey Robinson Prize from the American Historical Association. From 1998-2004, Percoco served on the Board of Trustees for the National Council for History Education. His second book, Divided We Stand: Teaching about Conflict in U.S. History was published in 2001 (Heinemann). An advocate for promoting good history education Percoco has served as an educational consultant for the National Archives and Records Administration, where he received the Archivist’s Award of Achievement in 1993. He has also advised the National Gallery of Art, the National Park Service, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, the Department of Defense Office of Commemorations and is a member of the National Park Service’s Advisory Board’s Education Committee.

From 1991 - 2012 students in his nationally recognized Applied History, an academically rigorous high school public history program, contributed over 30,000 man-hours to historic sites, museums, and history agencies in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. Each spring Percoco dispatched student interns to the history work force with Marian Wright Edelman’s words, “Service is the rent each of us pays for living.” Applied History Interns have worked at Mount Vernon, Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site, Arlington House: The Robert E. Lee Memorial, Gunston Hall, Carlyle House, the Octagon Museum, and the Alexandria Black History Resource Center among others. In 2007 his Applied History class was featured Paul Sanderson's biographical documentary Augustus Saint-Gaudens: Master of American Sculpture for which he also served as an consultant. Since 2002 he has presented at more than fifty Teaching American History Grant programs.

 “His work is exceptional, path breaking, and innovative. He cares about his students by making history more than just memorizing dates,” says Dwight Pitcaithley, Chief Historian of the National Park Service. According to Pulitzer Prize winning author David McCullough, “The real secret of the Percoco classroom magic is that unbeatable combination of a love of teaching and an all-out love of his subject.”

In 1999 Percoco was selected by the United States Department of State, education sponsored program, Partners In Education, to travel to Russia for two weeks to work with Russian educators in a collaborative exchange. In 2005 and 2006 Percoco led delegations of American History Educators to Beijing, China to participate in a China-United States International People –to – People Conference on education. In 2007 he reprised that role leading a similar delegation to Cairo, Egypt.

2013 National Council of the Social Studies: St. Louis

Meet us in St. Louis this fall for the world’s largest and most comprehensive social studies professional development conference, the 93rd NCSS Annual Conference. With the theme 
Gateway to the Core of Learning, the conference will feature many sessions designed to help districts, schools, and teachers integrate common core literacy standards into social studies classrooms, and highlight ways to work with other academic disciplines to incorporate the standards. The conference will also include more than 400 sessions and speakers covering the breadth of social studies subjects across all grade levels. For every social studies educator working with common core, literacy, and social studies standards, the 2013 NCSS Annual Conference is the place to be!

Nov. 22 - 24, 2013
For more information, visit:

What To Do VCSSE 2013.pdf
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At A Glance 2013.pdf
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