Chris Petersen, a seventh grade teacher and head of the social studies department at Scotts Ridge Middle School, will receive Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center’s Anna Keeler Award for Excellence in history and civics education at the museum’s annual benefit gala on Saturday, Sept. 16. Established in 2015, the award recognizes teachers whose passion and dedication motivate students to understand how the past shapes the present.

Mr. Petersen partnered with the museum’s education staff to develop KTHC’s flagship school program “National Connections: The Battle of Ridgefield.” The program prepares students to answer the question, “Who won the Battle of Ridgefield?” The program has since been presented to more than 500 fifth and seventh grade students from around Fairfield County over the past two years.

“I’m proud and honored to be this year’s recipient of the Anna Keeler Award,” said Chris Peterson. “Keeler Tavern has become my classroom for teaching history and giving my students a unique experience that they couldn’t get anywhere else by using local history as a window onto national events.”

The Cannonball Gala is a major fundraiser for the museum, especially for KTHC’s operating and education budgets. This year’s event will pay tribute to Ridgefield’s Gilded Age with garden cocktails, ale in the historic tavern, live music, auctions and a sit-down dinner by Sarah Bouïssou Catering.

The gala is from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $175 per person; sponsorship opportunities are also available. Tickets and sponsorships may be purchased online at keelertavernmuseum.org or by calling 203-438-5485. Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center is located at 132 Main Street.