Berwick Teacher Selected for National History Day Spring Webinar Series

Ms. Christa Boeykens-Bui, a teacher at Noble Middle School in Berwick, Maine is one of only 120 teachers selected for a National History Day® (NHD) spring professional development program. This course focuses on using online Library of Congress resources to develop and support historical arguments and is a feature of NHD’s membership in the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Consortium.

The teachers chosen for this honor represent NHD’s 58 affiliates across the country and around the world, and the National History Day program in Maine selected Ms. Boeykens-Bui. NHD affiliates include all 50 states and the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and international school programs in China, South Asia, and South Korea.

“The skills and strategies Ms. Boeykens-Bui is developing through this series will benefit her students over the course of their academic and professional careers,” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “As a Library of Congress TPS Consortium member, NHD is incredibly fortunate to be able to offer this opportunity for teachers, especially now as teachers and students continue to address challenges of non-traditional learning settings required by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

For several months, Ms. Boeykens-Bui works with her peers around the country and National History Day staff to build knowledge for teaching with online Library of Congress resources. Upon completion of the series, she will have demonstrated the ability to share with her students key strategies for researching, supporting, and presenting historical arguments bolstered by these primary sources.

NHD is a non-profit organization based in College Park, Maryland, which seeks to improve the teaching and learning of history. The National History Day Contest was established in 1974 and currently engages more than half a million students every year in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. Students present their research as a documentary, exhibit, paper, performance, or website.

For more information about the national level program, visit for more information about National History Day in Maine visit or contact State Coordinator John Taylor at or 207-474-7133.

Portland High School Seniors Create Online Historical Journal to Publish Student Research Papers

Three Portland High School seniors who excel in doing original historical research have created a digital journal so that they and other high school students can have a place to publish their historical scholarship.


“Our idea and our current mission is to create an outlet for students wishing to share their hard work and research in a published historical journal, one made specifically for high school students by high school students,” say the three co-founders and editors of The Nor’Easter High School Historical Journal, Lucy Howe, Hannah Prue, and Zoe Bertsch.


They have sent out a call for papers to high school principals in Cumberland County, encouraging them to have their students submit research-based history papers to the journal by the deadline of Feb. 28, 2021. The journal, which also serves as the three students’ senior capstone project, will issue its first edition in the spring.


Since they were sophomores, Lucy, Hannah and Zoe have been working closely with PHS history teacher Gavin Glider to do historical research and write papers based on their scholarship.


“In our sophomore year, we had the honor and opportunity to present research done in our AP U.S. History class at the Maine Bicentennial History Conference, held at the University of Maine,” the students explained in their call for papers. “Over the summer, a similar opportunity arose at the New England Historical Association’s bi-annual conference at Roger Williams University. At both conferences, we attended seminars, spoke to graduate students and professors, and learned about the history of Maine, New England, and beyond.”


At the first conference, Lucy presented an essay titled “A History of Female Power;” Zoe presented a paper on “Feminism and Female Combat in the American Revolution;” and Hannah’s presentation was on “The Salem Witch Trials and Modern Day Witch Hunts.”


At the second conference, Hannah presented a paper titled “Dorothea Dix and Prison Reform in the 1800s;” Zoe’s presentation was on “Harriet Tubman’s Unifying Effects on Abolitionism and Feminism;” and Lucy presented a paper titled “Elizabeth Cady Stanton: The Fight for Women’s Suffrage and Beyond.”


The three said they were the only high school students at the conferences. While there, “several attendees at both conferences asked us where our work was published, as they wanted to learn more. To this inquiry, we had to sadly report that it was not yet published anywhere.”


That inspired the three to create the online journal, Glider explained. “Due to the lack of opportunities for high school students to publish research, they decided to create their own journal as a capstone project,” he said. “The goal is to expand this project over the next couple of years to encompass all of New England. All three plan to continue as editors of the journal during their college careers.”


The three journal co-founders and editors plan to include 30 papers in the journal, which may cover any topic in any discipline of history. “Whether they see this as an experience to learn, to boost their college applications, or to further immerse themselves in historical research, we hope that students will participate in this truly unique project,” the editors say.

For more information, contact PHS history teacher Gavin Glider at

This story is submitted by Portland Public Schools as part of the Maine Schools Sharing Success Campaign. To submit a story or an idea, email it to Rachel at


Two Maine Educators Honored with 2020-2021 Financial Educator of the Year Award

The Maine Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy has awarded two Maine educators for their outstanding work in financial education. The Maine Jump$tart Financial Educator of the Year Award, established in 2012, was created to recognize an individual who has distinguished themselves through their efforts to improve the financial capability of the students and families they serve. The Maine Jump$tart Coalition is pleased to honor Sheree Inman and Joe Schmidt as the 2020-2021 recipients of the Financial Educator of the Year Award for their leadership and accomplishments in personal finance education.

Sheree Inman is a teacher at South Portland High School, where she wears many hats as the Career Prep Teacher, School to Work Coordinator, and Career Fair Coordinator. Sheree is a leader in her school, and consistently pursues professional development opportunities in personal finance education.

Sheree has played an active role in trainings and events held by Maine Jump$tart, as well as participated in weekly conversations with other Maine personal finance teachers during the transition to distance learning this past spring.

Joe Schmidt is the Social Studies Specialist at the Maine Department of Education, where he provides technical support and professional development to Maine teachers. Joe also led the review of the social studies standards, which includes personal finance and economics, within the Maine Learning Results.

Prior to his role at the Maine DOE, Joe spent nine years as a high school social studies teacher in Wisconsin and three years as a teacher leader for social studies curriculum and instruction for the Madison, Wisconsin public school district. Joe currently serves on the national advisory boards for iCivics and Teaching Tolerance, chairs the National Council for the Social Studies Government and Public Relations committee, and has completed multiple fellowships and leadership opportunities.

Joe’s support, knowledge, and expertise has been an invaluable resource to Maine social studies teachers, particularly this past spring. Mary Dyer, president of the Maine Jump$tart Coalition, says, “Joe’s work in support of Maine educators, particularly during the transition to distance learning as a result of COVID-19, was simply extraordinary. Joe has served as an important voice for personal finance and economics educators in Maine and we are truly blessed to have him in our ranks.”

As recipients of the Financial Educator of the Year Award, Ms. Inman and Mr. Schmidt will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the National Jump$tart Educator Conference in 2021, where they will network with financial educators from across the country. Ms. Inman and Mr. Schmidt will also be formally honored at the 2021 Fostering Financial Education in Maine Schools Conference.

Resources for Celebrating Indigenous People in Schools

In recognition of Indigenous People and the upcoming Indigenous Peoples’ Day holiday, the Maine Department of Education (DOE) is sharing resources and information that educators and schools can use to integrate Native American history and culture into classrooms and school activities to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day and to teach and honor our native culture year round.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day is celebrated across the United States on the second Monday in October, this year the holiday will be celebrated on October 12th.

The Maine DOE has continued to expand a collection of Maine Native American Resources that are available on its website including robust historical and cultural information that honor Native Americans, as well as resources that will help guide discussions about Indigenous Peoples and Native American Culture, including how to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day in and outside of the classroom.

iCivics STUDENT Webinar to Discuss the 2020 Election (For Students/Classrooms Grades 3-12)

On Friday, October 2 at 10am join Joe Schmidt (Social Studies Specialist MDOE) as he hosts an iCivics panel to discuss Getting from “Can’t Vote. Don’t Care” to “Count Me In”: Youth Engagement in a Presidential Election.

This 30-minute session is intended for your students to watch on YouTube live and submit questions as iCivics will talk about the importance of voting (even for students who are not old enough to vote) and how students can be involved. The iCivics panel will then answer questions submitted by your students. You and your students can join in and watch here – The comments section will be turned off so questions will be collected ahead of the webinar.

This form can be shared with your students or collect your student questions and submit on their behalf. This session will be recorded and available for asynchronous viewing at a later time.

Contact Joe Schmidt ( with any of your questions.