West Tennessee History Day

2014 West Tennessee History Day: Important Announcements!

For a complete list of West Tennessee district finalists and special awards, click here.


As a reminder, registration for the West Tennessee History Day District Competition begins on Jan. 1, 2014 and ends on Feb. 3, 2014.  I emailed a copy of the Teachers' History Day Handbook, step-by-step information for registering your students begins on page 13 of the guide.  This handbook is also available at http://www.tennesseehistory.org/Handbook.htm.  You will begin this process by clicking the "Begin Registration" button on the right side of the site: http://www.tennesseehistory.org/historyday.htm.  Our topic this year is "Turning Points in History: People, Ideas, Events."

During September 2012, the District Coordinator held monthly Walk-in Workshops from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm (day TBA) in the West TN HD office at the University of Memphis.  Open to all History Day students, this workshop provided an informal forum in which students can raise questions about anything and everything history day related: from developing a research question, to finding and interrogating appropriate sources, to creating a quality project.

We are so excited about History Day this year and hope to make it one of the best yet!  If you have any questions about registering your students or general questions about history day projects please feel free to email me at mykaleta@memphis.edu or Susan O'Donovan at odonovan@memphis.edu.

Thank you,
Micki Kaleta
Office Number: 901-678-4512


The West TN District will allow only the top 3 projects from EACH teacher in EACH Category to move to the District Competition.

Comings and Goings

West Tennessee History Day is sad to have to say good-bye to the extraordinarily capable Caroline Mitchell.  Having successfully completed her Master's Degree in History with a certificate in Museum Studies, Caroline is moving on to new adventures.  But in losing Caroline, we gain Micki Kaleta!  Some of you may have met Micki at our 2012 and 2013 contests, but for those who didn't, she is working on her PhD in American History at the University of Memphis and, as was the case with Caroline, Micki knows her way around History Day, having been involved in the program for years.

Shelby County Historical Commission: Top Teacher Award

I am pleased to announce a new award for West Tennessee history teachers.  Sponsored by the Shelby County Historical Commission, the award honors the teacher who has done the most to advance history education in the current academic year.  The winner will be selected by a committee composed of the West Tennessee History Day district coordinator, a representative from the Shelby County Historical commission, and one other faculty member from the Department of History at the University of Memphis. 

Eligibility will be restricted to teachers whose primary duty is history instruction at the middle and high school level. 

Nominations should take the form of a one-page summary of the nominee’s qualifications for the award, addressing specifically the ways in which she or he has advanced the study of history in his or her school/district.  Each nomination must be accompanied by two letters of support.  If you are nominating yourself, please arrange for letters of support to be submitted separately from the nomination letter.   All three documents should be mailed to the West Tennessee History Day district coordinator:  Susan O’Donovan, Department of History, The University of Memphis, Memphis TN 38152.  Nominations and support letters may also be submitted electronically to odonovan@memphis.edu. 

The deadline for nomination is TBA for 2014.  The winner will be announced at the West Tennessee History Day contest.

For further information, please contact Susan O’Donovan at odonovan@memphis.edu



Sherrie Hopper, First Assembly Christian School, Cordova, TN


Dr. Scott Johnson, Lausanne Collegiate School, Memphis, TN


Teacher Resources

Teaching the Civil War in the 21st Century
is now available from National History Day. It was edited by Dr. O'Donovan and jointly published by NHD and The History Channel. It is available free to History Day teachers. If you would like a copy, please contact us at the email address above.

National History Day in the News

National History Day has been awarded a 2011 National Humanities Medal for outstanding achievement in history education. For more information, please read the press release here.

Please read the following Wall Street Journal article by Norm Augustine, former CEO of Lockheed Martin, about the importance of history and the value of National History Day here.