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Information for Judges and Teachers

​​​​Santa Ana educator nominated for National History Day's top teacher honor

Erik Peterson, a teacher at Santiago Elementary in Santa Ana Unified School District, has been nominated for National History Day's Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year​ award.​​​​​

Peterson is the junior division nominee from California. Each of the 58 National History Day affiliates may nominate one middle school teacher for this award. Nominees are selected for demonstrating a commimtment to engaging students in historical learning through innovative use of primary sources, implementation of active learning strategies to foster historical thinking skills. Read more​...​


NHD-OC relies on caring adults to evaluate and comment on student entries. Judges determine which entries will represent Orange County at the National History Day - California state finals competition. Many teachers who are considering an NHD-OC program begin as judges which provides an opportunity to see what culminating projects look like and how entries are judge. Judges include undergraduate and graduate college students (some are former competitors), professors, archivists, historians, museum curators, educators and those who enjoy history and supporting students.

Judging is a crucial part of the NHD competition. Each participating school is required to provide at least 3 volunteer judges. Experience judges describe the process as the best way to understand the NHD program, so coaches can benefit from the judging process. Judging enables you to assist your students effectively as they develop their entries for competition. Having enough judges also provides students with well-rounded feedback and smaller categories.

Please consider judging - complete the Judge Registration Form.

Entries per category New For 2021.

The number of entries per school that can advance to the NHD-OC competition are:

  1. Elementary Division (grades 4-5) may send up to two (2) entries for each of the two categories.​
  2. Junior Division (grades 6-8) may send up to
  • Two (2) entries in Historical Paper and Website categories.
  • Two (2) entries in: Exhibit, Documentary, and Performance categories.
​    3. Senior Division (grades 9-12) may send up to
  • ​Two (2) entries in Historical Paper and Website categories.
  • Two (2) entries in: Exhibit, Documentary, and Performance categories.

Note: Junior and Senior Division do not refer to grade levels.

Entry Categories:​

  1. Individual Poster (grades 4-5 only)
  2. Group Poster (grades 4-5 only)
  3. Individual Historical Paper
  4. Individual Documentary
  5. Group Documentary
  6. Individual Exhibit
  7. Group Exhibit
  8. Individual Performance
  9. Group Performance
  10. Individual Website
  11. Group Website​

What Is My Judging Commitment?

A judging session typically requires a minimum of 5 hours. This includes an orientation followed by examination of student work, student interviews and determination of the top entries you and your fellow judges have reviewed.

Judges who review Historical Paper, Documentary and Website entries will preview the entries before that NHD-OC contest.

If this is the first time you have judged, NHD-OC highly recommends that you view the NHD-OC Judge Training Webinar.

How Do I Sign Up?

Register to be a Judge for the 2020 NHD-OC Contest on Friday, March 13, 2020 and Saturday, March 14, 2020. Please be sure to press "Submit" when you are finished to ensure your registration is complete.

How Can I Learn More?

For a quick overview of the role of Judging, review the NHD-OC Judge Information Sheet​.

To learn more about the role of Judging, review the NHD-OC Handbook​.

Review the NHD-CA Rulebook​ to learn more about NHD-OC this year's theme, the annotated bibliography, rules for each entry category and more.

We thank you in advance for registering to become a judge, we hope you'll consider the time and effort you invest to be worthwhile.


Please contact ust at for more information.​​