Educator Named National History Day Teacher of the Year

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Ms. Suzanne Zmijewski Lim

BOSTON (June 2021)—The Massachusetts Historical Society is pleased to announce that Ms. Suzanne Zmijewski Lim, an eighth grade teacher at Winthrop L. Chenery Middle School in Belmont, Massachusetts, won the Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award for the junior division (grades 6-8) of the 2021 National History Day Contest. The award is sponsored by Patricia Behring in recognition of the pivotal role teachers play in the lives of students. As the winner of this award, Mrs. Lim will receive $10,000.

Each of the 58 National History Day affiliates could nominate one middle school teacher for this award, and Ms. Zmijewski was the nominee from Massachusetts. Ms. Zmijewski Lim has been teaching National History Day students and teachers for 26 years. Over the course of her career, she has both inspired and witnessed the powerful impact NHD has made on her students.

“Sue is an exceptionally talented teacher, admired by colleagues, administration, and students alike,” said Dr. Elyssa Tardif, Director of Education at the Massachusetts Historical Society. “Her warmth and guidance are remembered by students years after they’ve left her classroom. In fact, one past NHD student wrote: ‘your class as well as the whole NHD experience helped me love learning and believe in myself more.’ Sue embodies the best of what NHD teachers can offer students, and we are incredibly proud to have her representing the entire NHD in Massachusetts program.”

“Ms. Zmijewski Lim is such an important asset and advocate for her students and colleagues,” said Dr. Cathy Gorn, National History Day Executive Director. “She challenges her students to embrace the full breadth of historical research and critical analysis, and she changes lives. I congratulate Ms. Zmijewski Lim for winning this award, and offer my thanks for her many years of dedication to teaching the valuable skills of NHD.”

Ms. Zmijewski Lim was presented this award during National History Day’s livestreamed National Contest Awards Ceremony on Saturday, June 19, 2021. The annual competition and ceremony took place as scheduled this year, but were conducted remotely due to COVID-19 safety measures.

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About National History Day® (NHD)

NHD is a nonprofit organization based in College Park, Maryland, which seeks to improve the teaching and learning of history. The National History Day Contest was established in 1974 and currently engages more than half a million students every year in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. Students present their research as a documentary, exhibit, paper, performance, or website. Projects compete first at the local and affiliate levels, where the top entries are invited to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park. NHD is sponsored in part by HISTORY®, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Park Service, Southwest Airlines, the Crown Family Foundation, The Better Angels Society, the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, and the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation. For more information, visit nhd.org.

About National History Day in Massachusetts

Sponsored by the Massachusetts Historical Society, National History Day (NHD) in Massachusetts is a yearlong interdisciplinary program focused on historical research, interpretation, and creative expression for students in grades 6-12. A student-led project by design, NHD asks students to conduct primary- and secondary-source research on a historical topic of their choosing and present their work through a documentary film, website, performance, paper, or exhibit. Students can compete at local, regional, state, and national levels with the opportunity to win prizes and recognition for themselves and their school. Each year, nearly 6,000 students participate across the Commonwealth. To learn more about how to get involved, please visit masshist.org/masshistoryday.

About the Massachusetts Historical Society

The Massachusetts Historical Society is one of the nation’s preeminent research centers, with collections that provide an unparalleled record of the vibrant course of American history. Since its founding in 1791, the MHS has fostered research, scholarship, and education. With millions of pages of manuscript letters, diaries, and other documents, as well as early newspapers, broadsides, artifacts, works of art, maps, photographs, and prints, the MHS offers a wide-ranging perspective on the United States from the earliest beginnings of the nation to the present day. Exhibition galleries are open Monday and Wednesday to Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM and Tuesday from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

We are grateful for the support of the Mass Cultural Council.


  1. NHD-Teacher-of-the-Year.pdf 6/23/2021 7:23:49 PM

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