NHDC May Newsletter
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Team Colorado is Headed to Nationals!

Check out official State Contest Results and cheer on our National Qualifiers!
Director's Letter

As we watch photos of graduations, awards ceremonies, sports celebrations, and all the things that signal the end of another school year and you are beginning to celebrate an opportunity to wind down into the summer, Kayla and I are winding up.  For the first time in three years, we are taking a big group of amazing students, with their families and teachers, to Washington, D.C.  NHD Nationals is virtual for one more year--but we'd seen the crestfallen faces of our State winners too many times, so we created a Nationals trip that won't be forgotten!  We will be seeing all the monuments, the White House and Capitol, National Archives, Mt. Vernon, the Smithsonian and so many of the iconic places that make our nation's Capital city what it is.

We'll be meeting with both of Colorado's senators and Rep. Jason Crow, also an Army Ranger and Bronze Star recipient. Our students will be able to meet with Senate interns, to hear about that opportunity for themselves. It will be a celebration like none other, showing our scholars the amazing things to be learned about our country. There will be lots of photos on our Facebook page--be sure to keep up with us if you can.

That said, we encouraged ALL our winners--for the last three years--to sign up. That means a big group filling big busses and standing in lines to see important exhibits... and we are underwriting this trip so that students and families will be able to make this journey with as little financial burden as possible. Below you'll see a button where you might consider a gift to help us make this trip happen. Every little bit helps. We promise a postcard for every gift--and a t-shirt! Needless to say, next month's newsletter will be filled with photos of sheer joy.


State Contest Highlights
State Contest Winners & National Qualifiers
Special Award Winners
(left) First a competitor, then judge, now a teacher. Full circle. (right) Longtime NHDC educator Susan Barrett won the 2022 Volunteer of the Year Award.
(left) 2022 Winners' Circle. (right) 2022 NHDC Seniors.
(left) Mirayah White and Emma Hernandez win the Best Documentary on Women Breaking Barrier for Justice--Sponsored by the League of Women Voters. (right) Beth Hendrix presents the award on behalf of League of Women Voters.
(left) Dr. Edward Crowther, San Luis Valley Regional Coordinator reads the proclamation declaring April 30 National History Day in Colorado. (right) Jamie Adams-Granato of Pleasant View Middle School in Pueblo was awarded this year’s Colorado Teacher of the Year. She is also a nominee for National NHD Teacher of the Year.
NHDC/COSLI students take a break from helping tally results to take a quick photo.
Students prep for competition and enjoy a day on the CU Denver campus.
(left) Longtime NHD educator and friend Leni Arnett takes time to pose for a photo op with Celeste. (right) Students take home serious hardware at the Awards Ceremony.
Clayton Short of CU Denver Undergrad Admission and K-12 Outreach hosted a pizza party for students.
Teacher Feature: Jeff Hawkins
This month's featured teacher is Jeff Hawkins of Connect Charter Middle School in Pueblo, where he is the principal.Under Jeff's leadership, the many educators at Connect routinely have students qualify for State and Nationals.

How long have you participated in History Day?
"I have been an administrator at Connect Charter School for the last 16 years, and have been involved in History Day for that same amount of time. I learned everything I know about History Day from my mentors, John and Judy Mikulas, the founders and directors of the school." 

Why do you believe in History Day?
"History Day is such a wonderful learning opportunity and experience for middle and high school students as they learn
skills across all content areas.  I believe studying why people in history spoke and acted as they did teaches important lessons and helps us, in the present, to shape and craft our own decisions socially, economically, and politically, both as individuals and as members of our society." 

What is your biggest takeaway from your participation in History Day?
"I would have to say that my biggest take away from students participating in History Day is they are not only gaining
important academic skills, but skills to navigate life in evaluating what sources of information are credible, or not credible
as we live our lives and participate as citizens in society.  We don't have the time to watch, listen to, or take in everything. So what we give our attention to needs to be worth our time, so we can make the best decisions for ourselves, our children,and the next generation." 

What is your favorite History Day memory?
"One of my favorite things to see, each year, is the transformation in students from when they begin their project to when
they complete it, the self confidence they gain by working through a rigorous and challenging, long-term project and not
giving up.  And the fact that they become so knowledgeable in their subject matter where they can see their own growth
in a tangible way--that is very exciting and rewarding!"

Jeff is part of the heart and soul of NHDC, and we are proud to have him on our team.
Historical Tip of the Month

Part 7 of 7

Questions to consider when reading a primary source:

7. With what aspects of the text (content, form, style) can you most readily identify? Which seem most foreign to you? Why? Does the document remind you of contemporaneous or present-day cultural forms that you have encountered? How and why?

(Courtesy of University of Toronto)

A Few More Things...
2023 Theme: Frontier in History: People, Places, & Ideas

Save the Date
May 6, 2023
State Contest
NHDC is Headed to D.C.!

We're heading to DC - Nationals is In-Person for Colorado!

We're taking the National History Day in Colorado State winners from each of the virtual years on a trip to D.C.! We hope to make up to them all that they missed... some are going to need some help paying for hotel and airfare!

We could sure use your help giving these kids a journey they've missed for 3 years! You will be able to deduct the amount, as it will be deposited into the CU Denver Foundation on behalf of these students. OR, you can go to our website and donate there directly, specifying that it is for the Nationals 2022 trip.

Please help us help them have a great trip!

Donate Now
Featured Partner: Center of the American West

National History Day in Colorado is fortunate to have the Center of the American West as a long-time cultural partner. The Center is as iconic as its director, Dr. Patty Limerick. According to their website, this is what they are about: “The Center of the American West serves as a forum committed to the civil, respectful, and problem-solving exploration of important and often contentious public issues. In an era of political polarization and contention, the Center strives to bring out ‘the better angels of our nature’ by appealing to our common loyalties and hopes as Westerners.”

With that in mind, the Center has sponsored an important special award for a number of years. This year’s winners were Canyon Tucker from Durango for her paper titled, Edward Abbey: Eco-Activist or Eco-Terrorist? And Tobin Wheeler from Salida for his paper titled, One-Man Diplomacy: The Sand Creek Massacre. The Center’s award is presented to the “best paper on western history.”  There have been some great ones through the years.

Best part is that each of these papers is read by Dr. Limerick. When Celeste was still in the classroom and teaching all levels of American History, Dr. Limerick was part of the curriculum. In 1987, Limerick published her best-known work,The Legacy of Conquest. It is an “overview and reinterpretation of Western American history that has stirred up a bunch of debate.” What a great book it was to teach – and what a great inspiration for a future NHDC project

NHDC also enjoyed partnering with The Center for a lecture by H.W. Brands, another iconic American Historian. This lecture was spearheaded by one of our NHDC student advisory board members. That’s one of the things that NHDC loves so much about the Center and about Limerick, their insistence on engaging and empowering our students.Dr. Limerick is the long-time moderator for our fall showcase each year and is known to shed a tear, moved by what our students have created and are presenting.
Possibly because of this respect that is shown to our students, the members of the NHDC Student Advisory Board have voted to nominate Dr. Limerick for induction into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame. Be watching for more about Dr. Limerick and this nomination next month.

Featured Student: Ben Knudsen

Ben Knudsen is an eighth grade student at Connect Charter Middle School in Pueblo. This year, he will be competing at the National Contest with his junior individual documentary, "Jane Addams: The Debates Over Child Labor and the Diplomacy that Followed."

How long have you participated in History Day?
"I have participated in History Day for 3 years."

Why do you believe in History Day?
"I believe in History Day because it helps encourage people to learn."

What is your biggest take away from your participation in History Day?

"My biggest takeaway from History Day is that hard work leads to success."

What is your favorite History Day memory?

"My favorite History Day memory is working together with my group to finish my board last year."

Congratulations Ben, and good luck at Nationals!


National History in Colorado
University of Colorado Denver
Campus Box 182 | PO Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217
p: 303-315-1789

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CU Denver, National History Day in Colorado · Campus Box 182, POBOX 173364 · Denver, CO 80217 · USA