NJ History Day News!


January 2024 - Introduction to our new state coordinator, Michelle Moon


Greetings! As the newly appointed State Coordinator for NJ National History Day, I am delighted to join you all in bringing the deeply enriching NHD experience to students and educators across our state. As a longtime public history professional (and former classroom educator), I bring to this work a deep-seated passion for helping young people connect with historical narratives that are personally meaningful to them while discovering the adventure of historical thinking. I look forward to drawing on my experience consulting with history organizations nationwide on innovative programs and events, serving as an NHD judge, and leading educational services in museums including the Tenement Museum, the Newark Museum, the Peabody Essex Museum, and Mystic Seaport. As a returning New Jerseyan, now settled in Port Monmouth on the Sandy Hook Bayshore, I’m delighted to be back in the region where I grew up and am committed to sparking enthusiasm for our state’s unique, diverse and fascinating histories. I’m looking forward to sharing this work with you, and benefiting from the widespread enthusiasm and expertise of participants and partners like yourselves.


6 July 2022 - Paterson History Teacher Lizandaa Alburg becomes 1st New Jersey educator to win Teacher of the Year Honor, on CBS News

27 June 2022 - Congratulations to our NJ Students and Teachers for their great work at NHD 2022!

22 June 2022 - Congratulations to Ms. Alburg for being awarded The Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award by National History Day!

Featured on Tap into Paterson: Paterson Teacher Makes History: Lizandaa Alburg becomes the first teacher from New Jersey to win national award! Read the article here.

Read the Press Releases here!


22 February 2022 – This spring, National History Day selected Ms. Madie Lee at Dwight-Englewood School in Englewood, New Jersey for the spring professional development Historical Argumentation Webinar Series. Congratulations Ms. Lee! Read about it here.

10 January 2022 – Congratulations to Ms. Scarpa and her student Yasmin for being chosen for the National History Day Summer Institute in Hawai'i 2022! Read about it here.


Congratulations to Theresa Maughan, a high school social studies and NJHD teacher, who was named the 2021-2022 NJ Teacher of the Year!

Check out the NJ.com about Theresa's achievement here.

thumbnail_Screenshot 2021-10-08 at 11.56.59 AM

Congratulations to Dr. Perrone for receiving the Roger H. McDonough Award for Librarianship!

Read the Facebook article here!


Rosa International Students Place 3rd in Documentaries at NHD!

Click here to read more about them and their project in the article from The Sun Newspapers!


NHD Virtual Contest 2020

Edison is fired up for Nationals and 2021's NHD/NJHD contests!

Submission courtesy of Edison Middle School and High School's NHD Clubs. (JP Stevens High School and Woodrow Wilson Middle School)


Rosa International in Cherry Hill loves NHD! Forty four students on Zoom getting ready for the New Jersey State Contest!


NJ History Day Winners Honored by the New Jersey Amistad Commission

2019 NJ History Day winners were honored by the New Jersey Amistad Commission at the NJ State Museum with NJ Secretary of State Tahesha Way, NJ Amistad Executive Director Dr. Stephanie Harris, and NJ Deputy Assistant Commissioner Abdul Saleem. Congratulations, students!

Twitter Post

Princeton Junction Student Melinda Chen Named a Recipient of The Next Generation Angels Award

College Park, Maryland – July 2, 2019 – Ken Burns, National History Day, and The Better Angels Society announced today the first six recipients of The Next Generation Angels Awards, a new award recognizing middle and high school students for excellence in historical filmmaking. Melinda Chen of West Windsor-Plainsboro High in Princeton Junction, NJ, was named a recipient of the award after winning third place in the Junior Individual Documentary category of the National History Day National Contest for her project, From Miracle to Mishap: The Cutter Incident and its Impact on Modern Vaccine Safety Standards.
The awards were announced as part of the annual National History Day National Contest at College Park, Maryland on June 13, 2019. The winning films are now available to stream at www.nhd.org/2019NextGenerationAngels.

The Next Generation Angels Awards, made possible through the support of The Better Angels Society, was recently launched earlier this year as the youth component of the Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film, a new initiative to support professional filmmakers exploring themes in American history. The winning films will also be made available on UNUM, the Ken Burns web site that examines the intersection of history and current events through clips from Burns’s works and conversations with cultural and other figures as well as documents, photographs, and other historical materials. For this year’s National History Day theme, UNUM shared clips from Burns’s films focused on Triumph and Tragedy.
This year’s awardees and their chaperones will travel to Washington, DC for a three-day fall excursion, courtesy of Hilton Hotels. While in the nation’s capital, the Library of Congress, American Film Institute, and other cultural agencies will roll out the red carpet for these student filmmakers, giving them tours, special screenings, and behind-the-scenes access to film archives. They will also be recognized by Ken Burns at the Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film ceremony and dinner.
Congratulations to Melinda and the five other student winners of The Next Generation Angels Award!
Allison Bushong
Film Title: Triumph of Representation and Tragedy of Repercussion: Silent Gesture of 1968
School: Martin Luther King High School, Riverside, CA
Teacher: Ned Hocking
Taylor Barton
Film Title: Dam! Better Call Clara!
School: Donegal HS, Marietta, PA
Teacher: Sara Frazier
THIRD PLACE:            
Melinda Chen
Film Title: From Miracle to Mishap: The Cutter Incident and its Impact on Modern Vaccine Safety Standards
School: West Windsor-Plainsboro High, Princeton Junction, NJ
Teacher: Michael Garzio
Sophie Elliott
Film Title: Positives and Negatives: Shaping Native American Identity Through the Photography of Edward S. Curtis
School: Singapore American School, Singapore, SA
Teacher: Matthew Elms

Sydney Brown
Film Title: By Chance: The Story of the First Code Talkers
School: All Saints Catholic School, Moore, OR
Teacher: Pam Brown

THIRD PLACE:            
Josef Schuller
Film Title: The Bridge over Funchilin Pass: The Only Option for Retreat
School: South Middle School, Joplin, MO
Teacher: Heather Van Otterloo

Screen Shot 2019-07-03 at 2.46.42 PM
Chen on the far right

NJ History Day Students Compete at the National History Day Contest

From June 9-13, 2019, NJ History Day students that qualified at the NJ state competition competed at the 2019 National History Day national contest at the University of Maryland, College Park. Over a half-million students around the country entered the competition, and only just over 3,000 of them advanced to through the local, state, and affiliate rounds to compete at the national level.

Competitors from New Jersey took their documentaries, exhibits, papers, performances, and websites relating to the 2019 theme, Triumph & Tragedy in History, to the national contest. On Thursday, June 13, several NJ History Day students were presented with awards for their hard work:

  • Senior Individual Documentary, Third Place Winner: Melinda Chen, West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South
  • Junior Division Outstanding State Entry Award: Benjamin Xi, Christopher Shin, Sean Li, and Vinayak Chidrawar, Rosa International Middle School, Junior Group Documentary
  • Senior Division Outstanding State Entry Award: Amritha Sypereddi and Dessy Dusichka, Lawrence High School, Senior Group Website
  • Asian-American History Prize: Cameron Hojecki, Sarah Bolen, and Victoria Wei, Montville High School, Senior Group Documentary

Great job to all the NJ History Day students at the national contest. We’ll see everyone next year for the 2020 competition season! 

Cherry Hill Students’ Documentary To Be Featured in the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s Documentary Showcase

Gina Liu, Joy Pu, Sarah Addis, and Natalie Parone of Rosa International Middle School in Cherry Hill, NJ, will have their documentary “Blood, Injustice, Impact: The Murder that Galvanized the Nation” shown in the Documentary Showcase at the Oprah Winfrey Theater at the National Museum of African American History and Culture on Wednesday, June 12. The students’ documentary progressed through the New Jersey History Day competition and will compete in the Junior Group Documentary category of the National History Day national contest from June 9-13. Their teacher is Christy Marrella-Davis.

Click here for more information from the National Museum of African American History and Culture about the Documentary Showcase featuring these NJ History Day students!

Local Teacher’s Work Published in National Education Resource Publication

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Mrs. Kristin Camiolo, an NHD in New Jersey teacher contributed to a national publication, Herstory: Women in American History. Mrs. Camiolo created an activity about Mary McLeod Bethune, a New Deal activist who worked to ensure educational access, civil rights, women’s rights, and social justice issues.

National History Day is proud to present Herstory: Women in American History, a publication from National History Day®, sponsored by HISTORY®. This resource, created by teachers, encourages fellow teachers to integrate the story of women into American history. In time for the one-hundredth anniversary of suffrage, this work features the stories of women from colonial America through recent history, including those who fought for the vote. The book features a forward by Melinda French Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The resource contains 20 classroom-ready activities based on primary sources that can be incorporated into American history and civics classrooms. The women selected for this resource represent a range of accomplishments and diverse backgrounds. These activities can be easily integrated into classrooms and will provide inspiration for students to pursue NHD research-based projects pertaining to women’s history.

“We are proud to share this teacher-driven resource with teachers around the world,” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “National History Day appreciates the contributions of our teachers and the various strategies they use to engage students and promote historical thinking skills in the classroom.”

Local Teacher Asking for Your Help to Tell the Story of a Silent Hero of World War I

Califon, NJ— Kate Spann is researching the life of Private William Rice Spann and is looking for help telling this hero’s story as part of the Memorializing the Fallen — a teacher professional development program from National History Day®. Sponsored by the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, the program takes educators on the journey of a lifetime to rediscover the history of World War I and invigorate its teaching in America’s classrooms.

By researching the story of a Silent Hero®, an American service member who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War I, program participants can be the voice of these Americans who died a century ago. Spann teaches at Woodglen School in Califon and will deliver a eulogy for Private Spann at the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery in June. However, before she can do this, she needs help from those who may have connections to this Silent Hero. Private Spann was born in Dallas, Texas and lived in Shelbyville, Kentucky and Morristown, New Jersey.

“I learned that Spann wanted to join the aviation branch of the military, but enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps instead. Two of the brothers joined the military as well. Spann was a private in the 13th Marine Regiment and died of disease not long after arriving in France,” said Spann. “I am looking for more information about his regiment’s activities during World War I. Additionally, Spann’s father ran a cattle importing business (W.R. Spann and Sons) and I am also hoping to find more information about this business.” 

If you have any information about Private William Rice Spann, please contact Ms. Spann at katespann@gmail.com.

Six Paterson Students Heading to National History Competition in Maryland

Congratulations to Sienna Rojas and Gabriel Torres of Eastside’s School of Culinary Arts, Hospitality and Tourism and Afsara Ahmed, Jakiah Choudhury, Naima Bari and Salma Uliah from Paterson’s Academy for the Gifted and Talented on their featured article in the Paterson Press. All six Paterson students will compete at the National History Day (NHD) national competition in June.

Rojas and Torres will compete in the senior group performance category with their presentation titled “The Sacrifice for Civil Rights: A Mother’s Legacy.” Their teachers are Michelle Hamlett and Nina Jones.

Ahmed, Choudhury, Bari, and Uliah will compete in the junior group exhibit category with their project titled “Between the Wall of Triumph and Tragedy, There Lies a Battle.” Their teacher is Lizandaa Alburg.

Six Paterson Students Heading to National History Competition in Maryland

Article written by Joe Malinconico, Paterson Press

The MacGregor Teacher of the Year Award

The MacGregor Teacher of the Year award is sponsored by James F. Harris in honor of his sister and is awarded to one middle and one high school teacher annually. Each of the 57 National History Day affiliates may nominate one middle and high school teacher each for this award.

2019 award recipients:

Ms. Wendy Hurwitz-Kushner – Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Edison, New Jersey
Edison Teacher Nominated for the MacGregor Teaching Award

Dr. John Bransfield – Bayonne High School in Bayonne, New Jersey
Bayonne Teacher Nominated for the MacGregor Teaching Award


Ms. Hurwitz-Kushner and Dr. Bransfield receiving their awards at the New Jersey History Day awards ceremony.