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

May 10, 2018

Awards Also Go to Maryland History Day Teachers

(Baltimore) – Nearly 700 middle and high school students gathered to display their extensive historical research at the 2018 Maryland History Day competition. The competition, held on April 28 at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), is the culmination of a year-long program from Maryland Humanities that saw more than 27,000 students participate 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. 2018’s theme is “Conflict and Compromise 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 themes. 

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 10–14, 2018 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, The Alvin & Fanny B. Thalheimer Foundation, Jerome S. & Grace H. Murray Foundation, Columbia Gas of Maryland, Kinder Morgan Foundation, and Wegmans. See the list of Maryland History Day Winners here.


Maryland Humanities is pleased to name Thomas Crise and Samuel Spinder as the Maryland History Day Middle and High School Teachers of the year, respectively. Crise teaches at Stevensville Middle School in Queen Anne’s County and Spinder teaches at North Hagerstown High School in Washington County. Maryland Humanities has also nominated Crise and Spinder for the James F. Harris History 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.

Crise has taught middle school in Maryland for over a decade. He has years of experience in curriculum development, has led professional development initiatives for his colleagues, and organized History Day for Queen Anne’s County Public Schools. Spinder has taught at North Hagerstown High School for fourteen years and has served as the History Day faculty advisor for AP World History students since 2007. He also has experience as the Social Studies Department Chairman at Stemmers Run Middle School.

Another Maryland History Day teacher, Amie Dryer, has been selected as one of eighteen middle and high school educators nationwide to participate in Memorializing the Fallen: Honoring those Who Served. The nine-month professional development program is based on a partnership between National History Day®, the National Cemetery Administration (NCA), and the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC).

Dryer will travel to Hawaii to study the Korean War. Memorializing the Fallen: Honoring those Who Served provides those accepted into the program the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of history as they travel to one of 18 national Veterans’ cemeteries. Teachers will also visit some sites associated with the period and then develop a lesson activity connecting one element of WWI or the Korean War with a local national, state, or tribal Veteran’s cemetery. Activities are designed for use by school or community groups who visit the cemetery. 

Dryer teaches at Calvert High School in Calvert County. She has participated in Maryland History Day for nine years. A pair of Dryer’s students, Kayla Bevard and Vina Vo, won the Special Prize in Women’s History this year for their website on Julia Ward Howe. In past years, Dryer has volunteered her time as a Maryland History Day Judge. Learn more about National History Day and Memorializing the Fallen: Honoring those Who Served.

Press Release