Good morning, MCHCE Board Members and Friends of MCHCE:
We have been fairly busy this past few months so I want to bring the Board up-to-date on a number of projects, which are enumerated below (please note that I have cc’ed this note to the folks at the Montana Historical Society):
1. As you know, MCHCE now sponsors National History Day (NHD) in Montana and the state competition, which will be held on Saturday, April 2nd at Sacajawea Middle School in Bozeman from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. We expect as many as 250-300 student contestants from across Montana. Our thanks go out to Michael Herdina who has taken the lead in organizing this event in addition to doing some major fund-raising for this project. We still need a few judges. If you are interested, please drop a line to Michael (firstname.lastname@example.org) or me (email@example.com), and we will fill you in on the details. Our thanks go out to Lori Ross, Marilyn King, and Gordon Grissom at Bozeman Public Schools for their generous assistance in this project.
2. Another MCHCE project is the recruitment and selection of the Montana History Teacher of the Year (MHTOY) a joint project between the Gilder-Lehman Institute for American History in New York and MCHCE. This year we have seven nominees for the award. I was not entirely satisfied with the selection process last year if only because it was difficult and cumbersome to conduct a board meeting and a MHTOY selection in the same meeting. This year, I will try another angle on the selection process. First, we will hold the Board meeting at next October’s MEA/MFT Educator’s Conference in Helena as we did years ago. If we don’t get a quorum, we’ll have to drop back and adopt an alternative meeting date and place for the meeting (more information on this later). Second, I plan to continue to use board members to judge the candidate’s materials and qualifications but do so on a completely volunteer basis and do it by mail and not in a face-to-face meeting. I have revised the very inadequate rubric that we used last year. The rubric now includes a numerical score for every category and subcategory, which should make it easier to rank the candidates. The plan is to send each applicant’s materials with the rubric to each judge at the end of March with a requirement that the applicants’ materials be scored and returned to me by the first of May. Danice and Michael volunteered to judge, but I need two or three board members to join them. Gilder-Lehmann allows us to pay each of our judges a $100 honorarium. If you are interested, drop me an e-mail ASAP. I will take the first three board members who contact me. First come/first hired.
3. During the last two months, I have been heavily involved with planning MCHCE-sponsored events for the 2016 MEA-MFT Educator’s Conference in Helena, October 20-21. At this year’s January conference organizing meeting, Danice and I put together several events,some in collaboration with the Montana Council for Social Studies and the Montana Historical Society. It’s been gratifying working with these folks. These events are as follows:
Wednesday evening, October 19th:
Session Title: Session Title: Opening Reception: Montana History Scavenger Hunt
Session Description: Montana Historical Society (MHS), 225 North Roberts Helena, (across the street and directly east of the State Capitol). Sponsored by the MHS, MCSS, and MCHCE Catch up with your colleagues at a reception and complete the history scavenger hunt to earn an OPI renewal unit and explore the Montana Historical Society’s first-class exhibits. Learn about Montana tribes and later immigrants, and examine C. M. Russell masterpieces up close. Discover K-12 curricular connections to history, art, and IEFA. This session will be led by Kirby Lambert, Martha Kohl, and Debra Mitchell of the Montana Historical Society. This event is co-sponsored by MHS, MCSS, and MCHCE
Thursday, all-day, October 20th:
Session Title: Bringing History Alive with Documents, Photographs, and Artifacts
Session Description: Montana Historical Society, 225 North Roberts Helena, (across the street and directly east of the State Capitol). Tour the Montana Historical Society’s galleries, library, archives, and museum storage; gain new understandings about Montana history; discover new IEFA resources and Common Core aligned lesson plans; learn ways artifacts, photographs, and documents can bring history to life. This workshop takes full advantage of the magnificent collections at the Montana Historical Society to investigate resources for teaching Montana and U.S. history. This session will be led by Kirby Lambert, Martha Kohl, and Debra Mitchell of the Montana Historical Society. Another event co-sponsored with MCSS and MHS.
Friday AM, October 21st:
Keynote Address: Robert Swartout, history professor emeritus of Carroll College. “Critical Turning Points in American History.” Another event co-sponsored with MCSS.
Panel Presentation: “Head Injuries and Concussions: Their Educational Consequences.” Dr. Coats and colleagues. This is a presentation being put together by Danice. More details to follow.
MCHCE Board Meeting: MCHCE Hospitality Room. Time to be decided. I will poll board members this summer to see how many will attend. We also could schedule a board meeting for Thursday, but we really want to be attendance for the seminar at the Montana Historical Society.
We encourage MCHCE members to present at the Educator’s Conference. Deadline for presentation applications is April 22nd. Register your presentation at: http://www.mea-mft.org/educators_conference.aspx Michael and I will present.
4. Over the past month, Danice, Bob Rydell, and I put together and submitted a National Endowment for the Humanities grant application for a two-week teacher seminar for July 2017 in collaboration with the Buffalo Bill Center for the American West in Cody, WY. The title of this project is All The West’s a Stage. The description of the project is as follows:
"To help mark the 100th anniversary of the death of William F, Cody (Buffalo Bill), The Montana Council for History and Civics Education (MCHCE), a non-profit 501(c) 3, will conduct a 12-day summer seminar from July 25th through August 5th, 2017 for sixteen K-12 schoolteachers at the Buffalo Bill Center of the American West (BBCW) in Cody, WY. Teachers participating in our proposed “All the West’s a Stage” seminar will learn how biography can be used in their humanities classrooms. This project will focus on Western American history through the lens of the life story of impresario William (“Buffalo Bill”) Cody, his Wild West show as well those of Cody’s associates, employees, performers, imitators and audiences, a panoply of personalities whose lives are windows into the American West and the larger world of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. All the West’s a Stage is collaboration between MCHCE and the Buffalo Bill Center of the American West. Because our proposed project will coincide with the the BBCW’s August 3rd through 5th, 2017 symposium, “The Legacy of Buffalo Bill Cody,” our teacher participants will have opportunities to learn from and interact with the leading historians of the American West, leading historians of the American West attending this symposium.”
5. Finally, we continue to maintain four digital outlets for history content and pedagogy: our MCHCE website (mchce.net), our MCHCE Facebook page (like us!), a Pinterest page, and now a Twitter account (@MTMCHCE).