National History Day in Missouri Student Award Winners Announced; teachers from Liberty and Essex, Mo. Nominated for National Award

Ninety-nine middle and high school students from across the state received top rankings in the National History Day contest in Missouri on April 27 on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia. First and second place winners will compete in the national contest June 9-13 at the University of Maryland, College Park. Students receiving third place in each category will be alternates. The theme for this year’s contest is “Turning Points in History.” National History Day in Missouri is sponsored and organized by the State Historical Society of Missouri. 

The students compete in five project categories, including documentary, exhibit, paper, performance, and website. Any public, private, or home school students who meet the grade and sponsor criteria can enter the annual contest. The contest is open to students in grades 6-12, who compete in the junior and senior levels.  Just under 500 students competed in the state level with many more students competing at the local and regional contests held earlier this year.

Two National History Day in Missouri teachers have been nominated for the 2024 Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award for middle and high school teachers. Missouri’s nominees are Kathy Lafoon, English language arts teacher at Liberty Middle School in Liberty and Paul Arnold, history teacher at Richland High School in Essex. The award is sponsored by the family of philanthropist Patricia Behring and provides $500 to each nominee from all participating states. Two final award winners will receive a $10,000 cash prize at the NHD national contest in College Park, Maryland, in June.

“Often we hear from our students that National History Day is a catalyst for their educational goals,” said Danielle Griego, Ph.D., educational program coordinator at the State Historical Society of Missouri. “Throughout the school year, NHD students develop skills in communication, project management, and critical thinking as they learn how to do historical research and showcase their projects.”

Winners at the state level are listed on the National History Day in Missouri website: