Studying history is like watching the TV show "CSI" and playing the role of detective to figure out how and why events happened, asserts Thomas Burford, a history teacher at Snoqualmie Middle School in Washington state. That passion for knowing why history's great events occurred helped Burford earn the title of Snoqualmie Valley Schools Foundation's Middle School Educator of the Year. "We have the Declaration of Independence, but why was it written? When we can understand that, then we can start piecing together the American story," he said.

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