Mark Howell, a longtime history teacher at Westlake High School, was recently named one of two Maryland finalists for the National History Day Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award. Participating states can select one middle- and high-school teacher for consideration of the national award and state finalists are chosen for excellence in the classroom. Howell is representing Maryland at the high-school level, and state finalists must demonstrate the use of creative teaching methods and a commitment to get students interested in learning about history.
Howell’s selection to represent Maryland was announced during the Maryland History Day event held last month. Two national winners will be announced on June 19 during the National History Day event at the University of Maryland College Park. Howell said he was honored to be chosen for the state-level award. “This honor motivates me to teach my students and teachers to research deeper, write clearer, and create better projects. This honor pushes me to continue to offer the best instructional practices and opportunities for my students to learn history,” he said.
Howell’s career in education spans more than 30 years. He currently teaches a range of social studies classes at Westlake, including local, state and national (LSN) government and U.S. History, as well as several Advanced Placement (AP) classes. He is the longtime History Day coordinator at Westlake and helped to expand the program both at Westlake and the county level. Howell was also honored by Charles County Public Schools with the 2010 Teacher of the Year Award, and was one of seven finalists in 2010 for the Maryland Teacher of the Year honor.
History Day is a history-based learning experience for students in grades 6 through 12. As part of the experience, students learn about issues, ideas, people, and events in history and apply what they learn through creative and original presentations. Students first compete in the program at the county level and first-and second-place winners advance to the state level.
For more information on the National History Day program and the Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year award, visit http://www.nhd.org/Contest.htm.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,400 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX Coordinator and Section 504 Coordinator (students), or Pamela Murphy, Section 504 Coordinator (employees/adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, Maryland 20646; (301) 932-6610/870-3814. For special accommodations call (301) 934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.
Westlake High School history teacher Mark Howell, pictured center, received the Maryland History Day Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award last month and was congratulated by Joyce Leviton, left, of Sen. Ben Cardin’s office, and Maryland Senate President Mike Miller, right.