Everyone has a story. Students brought the stories of the past to life by participating in National History Day and Virginia History Day with the 2019 Commemoration. Every year, over 500,000 students take part in the National History Day contest. Learn more about the program on the Virginia History Day website.

For the 2018-2019 school year, the 2019 Commemoration invited students to investigate the theme Triumph and Tragedy in History through the lens of Changemakers in Virginia History. This year’s competition theme encouraged students to examine their topic’s influence on history and draw conclusions about the ways in which it had an impact on the course of events and on individuals, communities, nations, and the world. The top two state-level winning entries in each category and age division will compete at the National History Day finals.

About the 2019 Commemoration award: “Changemakers in Virginia History”

Virginia has long been recognized as the birthplace of America—the birthplace of our nation’s triumphs, achievements, tragedies, and ingenuities. From our national beginnings to the present-day, untold Virginia men and women have changed the course of history by pursuing innovation and transformation despite obstacles and setbacks. The 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution™, will honor the 400th anniversary of historical events that occurred in Virginia in 1619, which continue to influence us today. To commemorate these stories, the 2019 Commemoration proposes a “Changemakers in Virginia History” prize, which will recognize superior projects that focus on a Virginia person or group of people who have changed the course of history for the better. $100 prizes will be awarded to projects in both the Junior and Senior divisions.

If you the missed the #2019Schools Changemakers webinar with Virginia History Day, you can find it here.

Junior Level Group Documentary

Title: Transforming Obstacles into Opportunities: The Triumph of Arthur Ashe

Documentary link:

Students: Jordyn Krajewski and Rithika Bhagavatula are 8th graders at Manchester Middle School in Chesterfield County and competed last year at the state contest as well with a website on Barbara Johns, winning a Changemakers Award. Jordyn and Rithika were also awarded second place in the Junior Level Group Documentary and will compete at National History Day this June. Their teachers are Julie Walton and Christi Gibson.   

Senior Level Individual Documentary

Title: Charlottesville: Democracy, Diversity, and the Paradoxical Legacy of Thomas Jefferson

Documentary link:

Student: Isabelle Jordan is an 11th grader at Western Albemarle High School in Albemarle County and competed last year at the state contest as well with a documentary on Eva Peron. Isabelle was also awarded first place in the Senior Level Individual Documentary and will compete at National History Day in June. Her teacher is Elizabeth Mulcahy, a veteran NHD teacher who also won the Virginia History Day Brenton S. Halsey Teaching Excellence Award this year.