National History Day announces Teachers selected to Participate in the Understanding Sacrifice Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. – National History Day (NHD) announced today the 18 middle and high school teachers selected to participate in the American Battle Monuments Commission’s (ABMC) Understanding Sacrifice program. The selected teachers will conduct an in-depth study of World War II in Europe that will result in teaching activities that utilize ABMC resources and put in context America’s overseas, military, commemorative cemeteries.

“NHD is constantly looking for new opportunities to connect students with the past,” said NHD Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “We are fortunate to have this opportunity to work with the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University to help the ABMC develop a website for Understanding Sacrifice that illuminates the service, experiences and sacrifice of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen during World War II in Northern Europe.”

The following selected teachers will assist the ABMC in developing best practice models of interactive teaching across disciplines that will complement the educational mission and visitor experience at ABMC sites in Northern Europe (England, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands):

Alan Birkemeier - Central Middle School in Columbus, IN
Joseph Boyle - Waite High School in Toledo, OH
Maile Chow - Mid-Pacific Institute in Honolulu, HI
Donald Davis - George Washington High School in Chicago, IL
Matthew Elms - Singapore American School in Singapore
Brendan Gallagher - Carroll County Career & Technology Center in Westminster, MD
Gayla Hammer - Lander Middle School in Lander, WY
Julie K. Heintz - The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science in Columbus, MS
Melanie Hunt - Morristown-Hamblen High School East in Morristown, TN
Amanda Kordeliski - Irving Middle School in Norman, OK
Katherine Lorio - Westfield High School in Chantilly, VA
Christina O’Connor - Hingham High School in Hingham, MA
Cherie Redelings - Francis Parker School in San Diego, CA
Patrick Slowey - Steamboat Springs High School in Steamboat Springs, CO
Erica Swenson - Bruce M. Whittier Middle School in Poland, ME
Brian Weaver - Central Bucks High School – West in Doylestown, PA
Kamilah Williams - Suitland High School in Forestville, MD
Pren Woods - Alston Middle School in Summerville, SC

Materials developed will be based on solid scholarship, integrate Common Core, and make use of interpretive materials provided by ABMC. Teachers may elect to use these resources to create a history laboratory environment in which educators and students “do history” and in so doing, reinforce, expand upon, and develop new ideas that use the rich content and resources of ABMC sites in their curriculum.

NHD is a nonprofit education organization in College Park, MD. Established in 1974, NHD offers yearlong 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, Weider History Group, Inc. and the WEM 2000 Foundation of the Dorsey & Whitney Foundation. For more information about NHD, visit

TWITTER: @NationalHistory

Lynne O'Hara
Director of Programs
Phone: 484-919-2595
Press Release