BALTIMORE — A Lockerman Middle School student and teacher received state honors at the 2019 Maryland History Day competition.
Lockerman student Isabella Garland received the Barry A. Lanman Award for Oral History Excellence, sponsored by Barry A. Lanman for her paper on “The U.S. Figure Skating Plane Crash.” Her teacher was Linda Echternach.
Maryland Humanities also named Lockerman’s Shelby Williams the Maryland History Day Statewide Middle School Teacher of the Year.
This is Williams’ fifth year using Maryland History Day in the classroom. With a colleague, she co-teaches an enrichment course that fosters project-based learning through creating Maryland History Day projects, where students find primary sources, honing skills in reading and using the sources, building primary source analysis skills, and more.
Nearly 700 middle and high school students gathered to present their extensive historical research.
The competition, held May 12 at University of Maryland, Baltimore County, is the culmination of a year-long program from Maryland Humanities. In 2019, more than 25,000 Maryland students participated at the school level.
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 “Triumph and Tragedy in History.” Maryland History Day sparks critical thinking and helps develop skills in research and analysis, writing, and public speaking. The program 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 district levels. Students from 16 Maryland counties and Baltimore City received special awards, designated for outstanding Maryland History Day projects that cover specific subjects.
From Dorchester County, Mia Mennit, Jocelyn Meyers and Aaron Palamaras received a special prize in Maryland history, sponsored by the Maryland Historical Society, for their exhibit, “Triumph Over Tragedy The Great Depression: Food Edition.” Their teacher was Scott Baker.
Other winners from the Mid-Shore included Alex Couture from Matapeake Middle School in Queen Anne’s County and Samantha Jayne from Kent County Middle School.
Alex received The Major General John E. Morrison Award in Education and Innovation, Junior Division, sponsored by National Cryptologic Museum Foundation, for his exhibit, “Nikola Tesla: Great and Failed Invention.” His teacher was Curtis George. The Maryland History Day District Teacher of the Year for Queen Anne’s County was Stephanie MacKenzie, Stevensville Middle School
Samantha received a special prize in African-American History, Junior Division, sponsored by Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, for her documentary, “The Clinton 12.” Her teacher was Jason Schieb, who was the Maryland History Day District Teacher of the Year for Kent County.
Maryland Humanities named Stephen Smith as the Maryland History Day High School Teacher of the Year. Smith teaches at Washington High School in Somerset County. Smith began his role at Washington High School and Academy in 2015 after student teaching. The same year, he created an afterschool History Day club. He also works to help promote the program throughout Somerset County.
Maryland Humanities has nominated Williams and Smith for the Hannah E. (Liz) MacGregor Teacher of the Year Award, facilitated by National History Day. A committee of teachers and historians selects one middle school teacher and one high school teacher for the $5,000 national award.