WASHINGTON, D.C.—On June 22 National History Day® recognized Constitution High School founding principal Dr. Thomas R. Davidson with an award for superior leadership. Constitution High School is the only history-focused high school in Pennsylvania. As an open admission college preparatory public high school, its mission is to "develop the next generation of engaged citizens and civic leaders in government, public policy, and law." For the past 10 years Dr. Davidson has helmed the school, attracting students from across Philadelphia to learn and implement the skills necessary for historical research and civic engagement.

“At the National History Day regional competition for Philadelphia this year, Constitution High School performed remarkably well among the top schools in Philadelphia,” said National History Day Deputy Director Kim Fortney. “Dr. Davidson’s work, in founding and building Pennsylvania's only history-based school, demonstrates the importance of strong school leadership and visionary thinking in building success. I am honored to present this superior performance award to such a dedicated educator.”

Dr. Davidson takes great pride in Constitution High School’s success in this contest, calling it the “Olympics” of Constitution High School. For his leadership and success in implementing successful history focused curriculum, National History Day® is pleased to present Dr. Thomas R. Davidson with this special recognition.
This year, nineteen Constitution High School students went on to compete in the Pennsylvania National History Day Contest with four of them advancing to the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest held outside of Washington, D.C., the national finals for the National History Day Contest. More than 600,000 students around the world take part in the project-based contest every year, advancing from local to affiliate level contest. Less than 1% of all entries make it to the National level and compete at the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest.

Founded in 1974, at Case Western Reserve University, National History Day® has grown from a contest of a few hundred students to a multi-national educational organization improving the teaching and learning of history education.

About National History Day: NHD is a non-profit education organization in College Park, MD. Established in 1974, NHD offers year-long 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,
the Joe Weider Foundation, and the WEM 2000 Foundation of the Dorsey & Whitney Foundation. For more information, visit

About National History Day Philly (NHD Philly): An alliance of 40+ cultural institutions, NHD Philly sponsors and manages the Philadelphia district program of National History Day. This is a year-long activity that is made possible through the fundraising efforts and the services provided by the participating partners, as well as sponsorships by major corporations, including A&E/History, PECO, Wells Fargo, Beneficial Bank and Enterprise Holding, foundations such as the National Archives Foundation and the Hearst Foundations, and civic groups like the Colonial Dames (NSCDA-PA) and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

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