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Swain County teacher nominated for national award

Last updated on April 20, 2022

Quality teachers are critical to student success. National History Day (NHD) recognizes their outstanding work and dedication to their students.

Swain County Middle School teacher, Amber Gilliam was nominated for the Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year award by Maryland-based nonprofit National History Day. The nonprofit says each of its 58 affiliates can nominate one high school and one middle school teacher for the award.

Mrs. Patricia Behring, a passionate NHD supporter, sponsors the Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award for all middle school teachers. Mrs. Patricia Behring, a long-time champion of classroom teachers, sponsors this award to recognize the expertise, commitment, and hours of work teachers spend supporting young historians preparing for National History Day.

This prestigious award is granted to one middle and one high school teacher annually. Eligible National History Day teachers can submit nominations or be nominated by a peer. Recipients of the national award are selected from the winners of the 57 state and affiliate winners of the prize. State and affiliate honorees receive $500. For being national winners, Mrs. Holder and Ms. Moorman will each receive $10,000.

The winners of the national awards will be selected from among the affiliate nominees. Each affiliate nominates one teacher in the junior division and senior division. The national winners will each receive $10,000. Every nominee receives a $500 prize as part of their nomination.

The national winner will be unveiled on June 18 at the organization’s virtual awards ceremony.

Winners are selected by a committee of educators and historians. The panel considers commitment to student development, creativity in the classroom, and inspiring students to engage with history.

Teachers are assessed on their use of creative and engaging teaching methods. The assessment panel considers examples of the following:

Active learning projects, such as mock debates or oral history projects;

Innovative use of primary sources;

Integrated communication technology in history research and classroom learning;

The use of teaching methods that build a range of skills in students as they study history;

Exemplary support and guidance for students working on History Day projects; and

Encouragement of students to use their understanding of history to become engaged, informed citizens in their community and beyond.

About National History Day

NHD is a non-profit education organization in College Park, MD. Established in 1974, NHD offers year-long academic programs that engage over half a million middle- and high-school students around the world annually in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. These research-based projects are entered into contests at the local and affiliate levels, where the top student projects have the opportunity to advance to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park. NHD also seeks to improve the quality of history education by providing professional development opportunities and curriculum materials for educators. NHD is sponsored in part by Kenneth E. Behring, Patricia Behring, HISTORY®, Jostens, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Park Service, Southwest Airlines, the Joe Weider Foundation, and the WEM 2000 Foundation of the Dorsey & Whitney Foundation. For more information, visit

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