Students from Seventeen Counties and Baltimore City Win Awards at Maryland History Day

June 21, 2019

Outstanding Maryland Teachers Also Honored

(Baltimore, MD) – Nearly 700 middle and high school students gathered to present their extensive historical research at the 2019 Maryland History Day competition. The competition, held on May 11 at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), 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 sixteen Maryland counties and Baltimore City received special awards, designated for outstanding Maryland History Day projects that cover specific subjects. 

Students from seven Maryland counties and Baltimore City will represent Maryland at the National History Day competition, where they will compete among 3,000 participants from across the country and beyond. National History Day is June 9–13, 2019 at the University of Maryland in College Park. The 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.

Support for Maryland History Day is provided by the State of Maryland through the Maryland State Department of Education, Old Line Bank, Thalheimer-Eurich Charitable Fund, Columbia Gas of Maryland, and Wegmans.


Maryland Humanities is pleased to name Shelby Williams and Stephen Smith as the Maryland History Day Middle and High School Teachers of the year, respectively. Williams teaches at Lockerman Middle School in Caroline County, and Smith teaches at Washington High School in Somerset County.  Maryland Humanities has also 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.

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.  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.

See the list of Maryland History Day winners.

Press Release