BOISE — The Idaho State Historical Society is pleased to announce that the 2021 National History Day competition has concluded another season, with eight Idaho contestants earning national recognition and an Idaho teacher being named finalist for teacher of the year.

Jan Gallimore, executive director of ISHS, also announced that six students competing in the 38th year of National History Day have been awarded more than $57,000 in scholarships.

National History Day is a year-long academic program focused on historical research, interpretation, and creative expression for students in 4th through 12th grade. The contest culminates in regional, state and national-level competitions. The theme of this year’s contest was “Communication in History: The Key to Understanding.”

“Each of the students who worked so hard during the year to research, analyze and produce their own unique expressions of history deserve credit for their efforts,” Gallimore said.

“Credit also goes to the countless history teachers across the state who motivated and guided students and shared their passion for history and the important role it plays in our society. National History Day is without a doubt an experience that can change lives and prepare students to be successful adults.”

Despite the challenges that the global pandemic caused, the 2021 contest drew more than 660 competitors statewide involving 48 teachers and 37 different schools. The state-level contest drew 234 contestants, with 54 moving on to the national contest. While many education programs lost most of their students, NHD in Idaho retained almost half its usual participation because of the tenacity and diligence of teachers and students.

Two Idaho students placed second in a national contest category. Sina Heineck and Sophia Payvar, students at Riverstone International School in Boise, placed second in the Junior Group Website category for their work entitled: “Birth of a Nation: The Cinematic Masterpiece that Rewrote the Reconstruction Era.”

Competitors awarded scholarships include:

• Amina and Denise Miljkovic – Renaissance High School (Meridian)

• Miriam Fridel – Borah High School (Boise)

• Jack Mayes – Moscow High School

• Ella Noland – Compass Charter School (Meridian)

• Max Pieper – Moscow High School

National Teacher of the Year Vicki Chase, from Mountain View Middle School in Blackfoot, was named as one of the top five candidates for the Patricia J. Behring Teacher of the Year Award during the national contest. Two other Idaho teachers were recognized at the state contest: Trevor Lindsay, from Riverstone International School in Boise; and Michelle Balliett, from Compass Charter School.

For more information about National History Day, visit: https://history.idaho.gov/nhdi/

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