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GCPS Teacher Honored at Maryland National History Day State Contest

Last Updated on May 20, 2022 at 9:55am | Garrett County Public Schools

Ms. Amanda Wilburn, a teacher at Northern Garrett Middle School, was selected as the Garrett County History Day District Teacher of the Year recently at the Maryland National History Day state contest. Ms. Wilburn is an eighth-grade Social Studies teacher and has participated in National History Day for seven years—one as a judge, and six as an instructor.

A student holds a cupcake with the letters NHD on it, celebrating National History Day.

Each year National History Day provides a theme. This year's theme was Debate & Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, and Consequences. Students choose research topics pertaining to this theme. They pursue the C3 Framework Inquiry Arc to investigate their topic of choice using primary and secondary sources, construct a thesis, and create a project that demonstrates their understanding of the historical event(s) and their connection to the theme. Well-researched and constructed projects then compete at the school, county, state, and national levels. Over the years, Garrett County Public Schools (GCPS) has had state winners, national winners, and special prize recipients. The most recent national winner representing GCPS was Laura Huelskamp, from Northern Garrett Middle, who won first place in the national competition in June 2020. This year several students represented Northern and Southern Garrett Middle Schools in the state competition. Rachel Mager competed for Northern with her website "Paradoxes, Peralte, Pressure, and Pursuit: The U.S. Occupation of Haiti."

“History Day is an exciting opportunity for students to have control of their learning and choose the subjects they want to investigate and pursue,” said Ms. Wilburn. “As they research, they learn critical thinking, time management, and inquiry skills that will help them academically at the secondary and post-secondary levels. Students become passionate and excited about their subjects as they become better prepared for college and the workplace. I can't imagine not doing it with students each year when you see their growth, enthusiasm, and accomplishments.”

National History Day occurs annually and has approximately 75-90 seventh and eighth-graders that participate each year throughout the county.

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