Prattville teacher nominated for National History Day Teacher of the Year

Courtney Spencer

Courtney Spencer, a teacher at Prattville Junior High School in Prattville, was nominated for the Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year award. The award is sponsored by Patricia Behring, widow of the late Kenneth E. Behring, who previously sponsored the National History Day National Contest for many years.

Each of the 58 National History Day affiliates may nominate one middle school teacher for this award, and Ms. Spencer is the junior division nominee from Alabama. Every nominee for the $10,000 award is a teacher who demonstrates a commitment to engaging students in historical learning through innovative use of primary sources, implementation of active learning strategies to foster historical thinking skills, and participation in the National History Day Contest. All nominees will receive $500, each, as a result of their nominations.

“Teachers are among the greatest resources children have to develop the skills necessary to become critical thinkers,” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “The nominees for the Behring Award have shown a dedication to teaching that goes beyond the classroom. I congratulate Ms. Spencer on her well-deserved nomination.”

Patricia Behring sponsors this award in recognition of the pivotal role teachers play in the lives of students. The national winner will be selected by a committee of experienced teachers and historians, and will be announced on June 18, 2020, at the National History Day National Contest Awards Ceremony held at the University of Maryland, College Park. Nominees’ work must clearly illustrate the development and use of creative teaching methods that interest students in history, and help them make exciting discoveries about the past.

About National History Day® (NHD):

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. Projects compete first at the local and affiliate levels, where the top entries are invited to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park. NHD is sponsored in part by, HISTORY®, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Park Service, Southwest Airlines, the Crown Family Foundation, The Better Angels Society, and the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation. For more information, visit nhd.org.

About Alabama History Day:

Alabama History Day is a state-level affiliate of National History Day, a year-long project-based learning program focused on historical research, interpretation, and creative expression for 6th through 12th grade students. By participating in Alabama History Day students become writers, filmmakers, web designers, playwrights and actors, and artists as they create unique contemporary expressions of history. The experience culminates in a statewide contest in the spring and an annual national competition in the nation’s capital in June. Alabama History Day is an Alabama Humanities Foundation program. For more information visit www.alabamahumanities.org/programs/alabamahistoryday.