NJ History Day News!

NJ History Day Students Compete at the National History Day Contest

From June 9-13, 2019, NJ History Day students that qualified at the NJ state competition competed at the 2019 National History Day national contest at the University of Maryland, College Park. Over a half-million students around the country entered the competition, and only just over 3,000 of them advanced to through the local, state, and affiliate rounds to compete at the national level.

Competitors from New Jersey took their documentaries, exhibits, papers, performances, and websites relating to the 2019 theme, Triumph & Tragedy in History, to the national contest. On Thursday, June 13, several NJ History Day students were presented with awards for their hard work:

  • Senior Individual Documentary, Third Place Winner: Melinda Chen, West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South
  • Junior Division Outstanding State Entry Award: Benjamin Xi, Christopher Shin, Sean Li, and Vinayak Chidrawar, Rosa International Middle School, Junior Group Documentary
  • Senior Division Outstanding State Entry Award: Amritha Sypereddi and Dessy Dusichka, Lawrence High School, Senior Group Website
  • Asian-American History Prize: Cameron Hojecki, Sarah Bolen, and Victoria Wei, Montville High School, Senior Group Documentary

Great job to all the NJ History Day students at the national contest. We’ll see everyone next year for the 2020 competition season! 

Cherry Hill Students’ Documentary To Be Featured in the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s Documentary Showcase

Gina Liu, Joy Pu, Sarah Addis, and Natalie Parone of Rosa International Middle School in Cherry Hill, NJ, will have their documentary “Blood, Injustice, Impact: The Murder that Galvanized the Nation” shown in the Documentary Showcase at the Oprah Winfrey Theater at the National Museum of African American History and Culture on Wednesday, June 12. The students’ documentary progressed through the New Jersey History Day competition and will compete in the Junior Group Documentary category of the National History Day national contest from June 9-13. Their teacher is Christy Marrella-Davis.

Click here for more information from the National Museum of African American History and Culture about the Documentary Showcase featuring these NJ History Day students!

Local Teacher’s Work Published in National Education Resource Publication

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Mrs. Kristin Camiolo, an NHD in New Jersey teacher contributed to a national publication, Herstory: Women in American History. Mrs. Camiolo created an activity about Mary McLeod Bethune, a New Deal activist who worked to ensure educational access, civil rights, women’s rights, and social justice issues.

National History Day is proud to present Herstory: Women in American History, a publication from National History Day®, sponsored by HISTORY®. This resource, created by teachers, encourages fellow teachers to integrate the story of women into American history. In time for the one-hundredth anniversary of suffrage, this work features the stories of women from colonial America through recent history, including those who fought for the vote. The book features a forward by Melinda French Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The resource contains 20 classroom-ready activities based on primary sources that can be incorporated into American history and civics classrooms. The women selected for this resource represent a range of accomplishments and diverse backgrounds. These activities can be easily integrated into classrooms and will provide inspiration for students to pursue NHD research-based projects pertaining to women’s history.

“We are proud to share this teacher-driven resource with teachers around the world,” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “National History Day appreciates the contributions of our teachers and the various strategies they use to engage students and promote historical thinking skills in the classroom.”

Local Teacher Asking for Your Help to Tell the Story of a Silent Hero of World War I

Califon, NJ— Kate Spann is researching the life of Private William Rice Spann and is looking for help telling this hero’s story as part of the Memorializing the Fallen — a teacher professional development program from National History Day®. Sponsored by the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, the program takes educators on the journey of a lifetime to rediscover the history of World War I and invigorate its teaching in America’s classrooms.

By researching the story of a Silent Hero®, an American service member who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War I, program participants can be the voice of these Americans who died a century ago. Spann teaches at Woodglen School in Califon and will deliver a eulogy for Private Spann at the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery in June. However, before she can do this, she needs help from those who may have connections to this Silent Hero. Private Spann was born in Dallas, Texas and lived in Shelbyville, Kentucky and Morristown, New Jersey.

“I learned that Spann wanted to join the aviation branch of the military, but enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps instead. Two of the brothers joined the military as well. Spann was a private in the 13th Marine Regiment and died of disease not long after arriving in France,” said Spann. “I am looking for more information about his regiment’s activities during World War I. Additionally, Spann’s father ran a cattle importing business (W.R. Spann and Sons) and I am also hoping to find more information about this business.” 

If you have any information about Private William Rice Spann, please contact Ms. Spann at katespann@gmail.com.

Six Paterson Students Heading to National History Competition in Maryland

Congratulations to Sienna Rojas and Gabriel Torres of Eastside’s School of Culinary Arts, Hospitality and Tourism and Afsara Ahmed, Jakiah Choudhury, Naima Bari and Salma Uliah from Paterson’s Academy for the Gifted and Talented on their featured article in the Paterson Press. All six Paterson students will compete at the National History Day (NHD) national competition in June.

Rojas and Torres will compete in the senior group performance category with their presentation titled “The Sacrifice for Civil Rights: A Mother’s Legacy.” Their teachers are Michelle Hamlett and Nina Jones.

Ahmed, Choudhury, Bari, and Uliah will compete in the junior group exhibit category with their project titled “Between the Wall of Triumph and Tragedy, There Lies a Battle.” Their teacher is Lizandaa Alburg.

Six Paterson Students Heading to National History Competition in Maryland

Article written by Joe Malinconico, Paterson Press

The MacGregor Teacher of the Year Award

The MacGregor Teacher of the Year award is sponsored by James F. Harris in honor of his sister and is awarded to one middle and one high school teacher annually. Each of the 57 National History Day affiliates may nominate one middle and high school teacher each for this award.

2019 award recipients:

Ms. Wendy Hurwitz-Kushner – Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Edison, New Jersey
Edison Teacher Nominated for the MacGregor Teaching Award

Dr. John Bransfield – Bayonne High School in Bayonne, New Jersey
Bayonne Teacher Nominated for the MacGregor Teaching Award


Ms. Hurwitz-Kushner and Dr. Bransfield receiving their awards at the New Jersey History Day awards ceremony.

James Madison's Montpelier Seminars

Scholarships for New Jersey teachers!!!  As always, scholarships cover accommodations, meals, seminar materials, recertification points, plus up to $500 for travel reimbursement.  We have a seminar coming up in October, but it is full at this time.  We are still accepting applications for all spring seminars, and we will have the application "window" open for those until Christmas break.

Upcoming spring Montepelier Seminars are:

  • Sex, Drug, and Rock n' Roll"  Vice and the Constitution - March 9 - 11, 2018
  • Constitutional Referendums:  Theory, Design, and Application - March 16 - 18, 2018
  • Freedom of the Press and Constitutional Issues in Modern Media - April 13 - 15, 2018

Details about each seminar, including applications and bios on guest scholars, can be found on our website:  https://www.montpelier.org/learn/seminars

Applications are very easy - NO ESSAYS REQUIRED!!