TASD middle school teacher selected for prestigious professional development


Ms. Brooke Harton, a teacher at College Hill Middle School, is one of only 58 teachers selected for a National History Day® (NHD) fall professional development program. This new course focuses on using online Library of Congress primary and secondary sources to develop and support student research skills and is a feature of NHD’s membership in the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Consortium.

The 58 teachers selected represent 40 of National History Day’s affiliates across the country and around the world and includes all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and international school programs in China, South Asia, and South Korea.

“This course has particular value now as teachers and students continue to address challenges of non-traditional learning settings required by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “The crucial skills Ms. Harton is learning and honing over the course of this series will benefit her students for many years to come. As a Library of Congress TPS Consortium member, we are incredibly fortunate to be able to offer this opportunity for teachers.”

Upon completing the several month long series, Ms. Harton will have demonstrated the ability to pair Library of Congress resources with active learning strategies to inspire, engage, and support her students. A task that is accomplished by working with her peers around the country and the National History Day staff.

Leah Sams, principal of College Hill Middle school, describes Ms. Harton as  “[the} Middle School’s very own fountain of knowledge.“ She went on to say, “Ms. Harton is changing the way our students see research and study history. Using primary resources such as diaries, letters and songs, Ms. Harton is teaching our students to think like a historian and develop historical arguments based on primary sources.” Ms. Sams believes this approach has increased student engagement in a way that only a diary in a middle school could.