PHS freshman wins national academic honor

Max Mateer of Pensacola, Florida won first place in the Senior Individual Performance category at the national finals for the National History Day® Contest. Mateer, a 9th-grade student at Pensacola High School, won the same prize last year for the Junior Individual Performance. His back-to-back awards are nearly unprecedented in the history of the competition. Less than 10 competitors have achieved this remarkable feat. Mateer captivated judges with a project titled, Pushing the Pawn from the Purchase to the Pacific and was presented with this prestigious honor on June 14, 2018, the day celebrated as #NationalHistoryDay. This first place award is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and each recipient receives the designation NEH Scholar.

More than half a million students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and international schools in China, Korea, and South Asia competed in the 2018 National History Day® Contest. Middle and high school students around the world created documentaries, exhibits, papers, performances, and websites based on the theme, Conflict & Compromise in History. The top entries from each state/affiliate contest were invited to the National Contest held at the University of Maryland, College Park on June 10-14, 2018.

“The National History Day Contest requires intensive research and analytical thinking skills,” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “Each student involved in the competition spends countless hours researching, writing, and editing. Only the top projects make it to the National Contest and it requires a truly superb entry to win. This is an incredible accomplishment for Max.”

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 dedicated to improving the teaching and learning of history. Students around the world, guided by more than 30,000 teachers, utilize the project-based learning framework that is central to the National History Day® Contest.