ETSU and Tusculum College announced during a press conference Feb. 12 that they will be teaming up to sponsor an annual National History Day competition for Northeast Tennessee.

The competition this year will take place 10 a.m. March 4 in the D.P. Culp University Center.

Teachers in the Northeast region will be bringing middle and high school students to this event.

The teachers will help students do research on chosen topics related to this year’s specific theme, and students have the option of writing original papers, creating websites or exhibits, performances or documentaries exemplifying their conclusions on historically significant topics.

“Today most of the tension in education revolves around Common Core testing assessment,” said Daryl Carter, district coordinator of Northeast Tennessee.

“We will be working with teachers and students across 10 counties of Northeast Tennessee. We will be reaching out to all these teachers and students in an effort to accomplish three primary tasks: one, increase participation; two, provide a powerful and dynamic experience for students; and three, draw the communities that we serve into the excitement that is history day.”

Educators and historians will evaluate these projects during the spring at the local, state and national levels.

“A judge will be selected to evaluate their work from the ETSU and Tusculum history faculty as well as community members around the area,” Carter said.

“I strongly encourage all teachers to attend this event on March 4 here at the D.P Culp center.”

Carter said students learn valuable, life-long lessons during this event about the importance of education and why historical knowledge and literacy are critical to American citizenship.

“History Day has been a national event for nearly 40 years,” Carter said. “Each year, thousands of students across the nation participate in this important event.”

According to the NHD website,  more than half a million students in the U.S. take part in this event each year.

“Polls examine the concerns and needs that our business leaders have consistently shown,” Carter said.

“The recent high school and college graduates around the nation need greater analytical, critical thinking and problem solving skills. Furthermore, young people need to be able to write, as well as present evidence to formulate their verdict.”

ETSU President Brian Noland said people are only as strong as their partners and peers across the region, peers who have a shared history and peers that have a shared vision.

“The announcement today has been made possible because of the spirit of partnership between Tusculum College, ETSU, the Niswonger Foundation and others,” Noland said.

The Northeast District event is sponsored by a grant from the Niswonger Foundation, with other donations by Sally Harbison, Jones Media and The Greeneville Sun, along with several other sponsors.

“As district coordinator I would like to take a moment to express my gratitude to Dr. Noland and Dr. Moody,” Carter said. “The leadership and vision demonstrated by these two higher education illuminators has made this partnership possible.”

Both presidents have eagerly embraced this opportunity to join forces.

“Moreover this unique relationship reflects the importance of collaboration between people, institutions and community in an effort to make the dreams of the young people of this region come true,” Carter said.