(Baltimore, MD) – Nearly 500 middle and high school students presented their extensive historical research at the first in-person Maryland History Day State Contest in three years. The competition held on April 30 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), is the culmination of a year-long program from Maryland Humanities. Last year, nearly 20,000 Maryland students participated at the school level.

Maryland History Day, produced by Maryland Humanities since 1999, sparks critical thinking and helps develop skills in research and analysis, writing, and public speaking. Working solo or in small groups, students create original documentary films, exhibits, performances, research papers, or websites exploring a historical topic of their choice on an annual theme, which this year is “Debate & Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences.” Maryland History Day is open to public, private, parochial, and homeschool students in grades 6 through 12.

Competitors at Maryland History Day have already won first or second place in their category at school and/or district levels. Students from thirteen counties and Baltimore City received special awards, designated for outstanding Maryland History Day projects that cover specific subjects.  

Students from eight Maryland counties and Baltimore City will represent Maryland in the National History Day competition, where they will compete among an estimated 3,000 participants from across the country and beyond. National History Day, virtual this year, runs June 12–18.  Special Prize recipients and students who received first and second place were honored at a Virtual Awards Ceremony on May 1.

The national competition involves students from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and international schools in China, Korea, and South Asia. Maryland History Day is an affiliate of National History Day, a non-profit education organization that promotes an appreciation for historical research among middle and high school students through multiple annual programs, including the National History Day Contest.

Michael Yuscavage and Devin Page, who teach at Arundel High School and at Northern Middle School in Calvert County, were honored as the Maryland History Day Statewide High School and Middle School Teacher of the Year, respectively. Maryland Humanities has also nominated Page and Yuscavage for the Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award, facilitated by National History Day. As nominees, they will receive $500 each.

A committee of teachers and historians selects one middle school teacher and one high school teacher for the $10,000 Behring Award.  Additionally, Maryland Humanities selected a District Teacher of the Year for each county with participating schools, listed below.

Both Page and Yuscavage have been involved with Maryland History Day for nineteen years and have students who received Special Prizes at the Maryland History Day State Contest.

It’s a tremendous honor,” Page says, on receiving the award. “Knowing how many teachers there are in the state of Maryland and how many phenomenal teachers at Calvert County Public Schools that I respect and highly admire…knowing the arc that Maryland History Day has taken over my own career, I am truly humbled.”

Yuscavage says: “For any teacher, it’s really humbling to think that someone out there is recognizing our work,” he says. “I’m really appreciative that I was selected.”  

Dr. Cathy Gorn, Executive Director of  National History Day, says: “This award recognizes the very best educators from across the nation and beyond. These educators are leaders and innovators in the teaching of history, and we are all the more impressed because of the extended difficult teaching circumstances due to the pandemic during the last year,” she continues. “I wish to congratulate both Mr. Page and Mr. Yuscavage on their well-deserved nominations.”

CALVERT COUNTY

Advancers to National History Day:

  • Students: Seth Hilton and Will Walton  
  • Award: Senior Group Website, Second Place
  • Topic: The Cuban Missile Crisis
  • School: Huntingtown High School   
  • Teacher: Amy Cox

Special Prize Winners:

  • Student: Zara Ahmad
  • Award: The Barry A. Lanman Award for Excellence in Oral History, sponsored by Barry A. Lanman
  • Topic: The Politics and Debate of the Partition of India and the Modern Day Repercussions
  • Category: Junior Paper
  • School: Northern Middle School
  • Teacher: Devin Page
  • Student: Danica Mehl 
  • Award: Award for Excellence in Legal & Constitutional History, Junior Division, sponsored by
  • Cynthia Raposo and Joseph Furey
  • Topic: The 13th  Amendment: Negotiating Freedom  
  • Category: Individual Exhibit
  • School: Mill Creek Middle School
  •  Teacher: Jacqueline Hall
  • Student: Carlo Riano
  • Award: Excellence in Labor History, Junior Division, sponsored by Bill Barry and Friends
  • Topic: Cesar Chavez and United Farm Workers  
  • Category: Individual Exhibit
  • School: Plum Point Middle School
  • Teacher: Aaron Tagert
  • Student: Samuel Richardson
  • Award: Excellence in the Study of Peace and Non-violence, Junior Division, sponsored by Maryland Humanities
  • Topic: The European Coal and Steel Community — How the European Union Began, and the Benefits of Diplomacy
  • Category: Paper
  • School: Northern Middle School
    Teacher: Devin Page

Maryland History Day Statewide Middle School Teacher of the Year:

  • Devin Page, Northern Middle School
Devin Page, who teaches at Northern Middle School in Calvert County, is our Maryland History Day Middle School Teacher of the Year

CHARLES COUNTY

Special Prize Winners:

  • Students: Gabriella Frye and Victoria Thomas
  • Award: Senator Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. Award for Excellence in Government History, Junior Division, sponsored by Maryland Humanities
  • Topic: Lincoln-Douglas Debates
  • Category: Group Website
  • School: St. Mary’s Bryantown
  • Teacher: Christopher Hayes

Maryland History Day District Teacher of the Year:

  • Heather Beaton, General Smallwood Middle School

ST. MARY’S COUNTY

Maryland History Day District Teacher of the Year:

  • Leif Liberg, St. Mary’s Ryken High School

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