2019-20 Program Year

2019-20 Theme

The theme for the 2019-20 school year is "Breaking Barriers in History." This is a completely new theme for NHD! At first glance it seems fairly straightforward; however, sometimes things are not always what they seem. Students first task is to think carefully and critically
about what “breaking barriers” means before they choose a topic to research. Barriers can be physical, natural, or ideological. It is common to assume a barrier is a negative thing—created by people and societies, keeping them from the freedom to move or think for themselves. However, students can also explore the other side. What barriers have had positive consequences in history? How about barriers against the spread of disease? Against pollution? Did the Founders include barriers to protect democracy when they created the Constitution? As you consider possible topics related to the theme, you can explore the theme further in these resources below:

2020 Theme Book  

2020 Theme Webinar  

2020 Theme Organizer Worksheet  

Suggested N.C. History Topics for 2020 Theme 

Regional Contests

North Carolina is divided into seven regions for History Day competitions. Students must first participate in their assigned regional contest, then the finalists from that region will advance to the state competition. As soon as you decide to participate, we strongly suggest contacting your regional and state coordinators so that they can keep you up-to-date on contest information and assist you throughout the process.

Contest Date/Location Counties Covered Coordinator
Albemarle TBD

Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Gates, Hertford, Northampton, Pasquotank, Perquimans

Dr. Edward Snyder snydee@chowan.edu

Central Piedmont TBD
Alamance Community College
Alamance, Caswell, Chatham, Cumberland, Durham, Franklin, Granville, Guilford, Harnett, Hoke, Johnston, Lee, Moore, Orange, Person, Randolph, Rockingham,Vance, Wake, Warren

Sherri Singer

(336) 506-4396


Northeast TBD
East Carolina University
Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Dare, Edgecombe, Greene, Halifax, Hyde, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, Nash, Pamlico, Pitt, Tyrrell, Washington, Wayne, Wilson

Dr. Rick Hernandez
(252) 328-6155

Northwest Piedmont TBD
Surry Community College

Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Iredell, Rowan, Stokes, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes, Yadkin

Richard Shelton
(336) 386-3236

Southeast TBD
Cape Fear Museum
Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Duplin, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender, Robeson, Sampson

Pepper Hill
(910) 798-4386 phill@nhcgov.com

Southwest Piedmont

UNC Charlotte

Anson, Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Montgomery, Richmond, Scotland, Stanly, Union

Victor Mack
(704) 687-8801



Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, McDowell, Macon, Madison, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Yancey

Jeff Futch
(828) 296-7230 ext. 222

State Contest

The 2020 North Carolina History Day contest was a virtual contest held in May. Students had to first compete at the regional level in order to qualify for the state contest.  If you have questions about the state contest, contact the State Coordinator, Karen Ipock, at karen.ipock@ncdcr.gov or (919) 814-6639. 

Check Out the Virtual Showcase of Projects!

National Contest

The top two projects from each category at the state contest qualify to attend the national contest. You can find out more information about the national contest here.