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History Day state coordinator Heather McClenahan at the awards ceremony with student from Silver City High School who took second in senior paper with "Adeline 'Nina' Otero-Warren: Crossing the Frontier of Gender and Cultural Equity in Politics."

62 LOCAL STUDENTS AWARDED AT THE STATE COMPETITION

WHO: New Mexico National History Day State Contest Winners
WHAT: New Mexico National History Day State Contest winners to attend national contest
WHERE: University of Maryland, College Park, Md.
WHEN: June 11th through 15th
CONTACT: New Mexico History Day State Coordinator, Heather McClenahan, HistoryDay@NMHumanities.org.

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For the first time since the pandemic, 62 students emerged from among their competitors and took top honors at this year’s highly anticipated in-person New Mexico History Day state contest. Nearly 200 mid and high school students gathered from across the state to compete at the University of New Mexico on Saturday, April 15th.

Students entered documentaries, exhibits, performances, websites, and papers — all based on this year’s theme, “Frontiers in History: People, Places and Ideas.” Students who finished in first and second place will advance to the National History Day competition on June 11th through 15th at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD. More than 3,000 students from the United States and around the globe will compete in the National History Day national contest. As part of the program, students learn important critical thinking skills and how to conduct research using primary, secondary, local, and statewide resources and work either individually or in groups.

Nearly 40 professionals in the humanities, including historians and educators served as judges at the state competition in Albuquerque. Out of 105 submitted projects, 21 students were presented with special prizes ranging from $50 to $200. Special awards are given for excellence in topics ranging from Native American History to the history of the Manhattan Project and are sponsored by community members and organizations from around the state. The Office of the State Historian gives two special awards for the best project in New Mexico history to use sources from the New Mexico archives. This year’s winner of that prestigious honor was Grace Montoya, a senior at Silver High School, who won for her website, “Like Dust In The Wind: The First All Black Frontier Town And Its Demise.” New Mexico State Historian Rob Martinez, along with Celebrity Historian Raffi Andonian and History Day State coordinator Heather McClenahan, emceed the awards ceremony with a special visit by Lt. Governor Howie Morales.

Morales, a strong advocate for students and educators and whose daughter participated in this year’s competition, recognized educators Rachel Johnson from Hope Christian School, New Mexico’s Junior Teacher of the Year, and Claudie Thompson from Silver High School, New Mexico Senior Teacher of the Year, during the awards ceremony. They both were nominated for the Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year award, in recognition of the pivotal role teachers play in the lives of students. Each National History Day affiliate may nominate one high school and one middle school teacher for this award. All nominees will receive $500. Mrs. Amy Page from Moriarty High School in Moriarty, N.M., who won the National Senior Teacher of the Year award in 2022 was honored and recognized by the lieutenant governor as well. The award came with a $10,000 cash prize in addition to the prestige of winning an internationally competitive award out of more than 30,000 teachers nationwide.

The New Mexico Humanities Council has sponsored and administered New Mexico National History Day for more than 20 years. Over the years thousands of students have represented New Mexico at the National History Day competition and consistently excel in the competition. One New Mexico student from Silver High School additionally had her documentary, Restoration of a Place of Worship: The Return of Taos Blue Lake, featured at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. Last year, New Mexico had seven national finalists, three from Moriarty High School, three from Silver High School, and one from Pecos Cyber Academy. A team from Moriarty took third place in the senior group exhibit.

At the conclusion of the awards ceremony, History Day state coordinator Heather McClenahan said, “We are so proud of all these students from throughout New Mexico. They have worked hard on their projects this year. We look forward to taking a great group of students to the national contest and showing why other states ‘fear the chile!’ ”

Next year’s theme for National History Day is Turning Points in History.

2022 - 2023 THEME:

FRONTIERS IN HISTORY: PEOPLE, PLACES, IDEAS

People, places, and ideas can all be frontiers. The 2023 theme invites consideration of time and place, cause and effect, change over time, and impact and significance. Students were encouraged to select topics in history where a frontier has been crossed. Once a frontier is crossed, history changes. In addition to geography, frontiers encompass topics in the history of science, art, technology, medicine, religion, politics, social change, or the military.

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NATIONAL HISTORY DAY

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NATIONAL HISTORY DAY

Helping student historians and their teachers study the past to inform the present and shape the future.

ABOUT NATIONAL HISTORY DAY® (NHD):

NHD is a non-profit organization based in College Park, Maryland, that seeks to improve the teaching and learning of history. The National History Day Contest was established in 1974 and currently engages more than half a million students every year in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. Students present their research as a documentary, exhibit, paper, performance, or website. Projects compete first at the local and affiliate levels, where the top entries are invited to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park. NHD is sponsored in part by, HISTORY®, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Park Service, Southwest Airlines, the Crown Family Foundation, The Better Angels Society, the Pritzker Military Museum and Library, and the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation. For more information, visit NHD.org.

ABOUT NATIONAL HISTORY DAY® IN NEW MEXICO:

History Day in New Mexico is open to elementary, middle, and high school students statewide. The program is organized and sponsored by the New Mexico Humanities Council. NMHC offers online and in-person professional development for teachers as well as student events.