HM - Apr. 2015 - Conference Testimonials

Conference Testimonials 2015



When I think back to the NCHE conference in St. Augustine, I am amazed at the vast experiences I had, the fascinating people I met and the quantity of amazing resources I amassed. It was a whirlwind of activity in only three short days.  I received a Fritz Fischer Scholarship, which covered the fee for the conference and was determined to take full advantage of the great opportunity I was awarded.

During the conference, I explored the history and archaeology of St. Augustine by bus and trolley with two amazing historians. One tour focused on Spanish and British colonization while the other explored the more contemporary Civil Rights Era. I attended so many interesting sessions that I could fill pages with what I learned. My favorite sessions included an intriguing cold war discussion about what we know now versus what we knew then and an opportunity to analyze photographs with new perspectives.

I returned to Baltimore with the potential for two speakers in my classroom: one from the Society of the Cincinnati on the Revolutionary War, and another a veteran sharing his or her experiences through the Joe Foss Institute.  I am looking forward to connecting with the professionals I met at the conference and using the thumb drive of incredible resources I received. I left the conference with new contacts and materials and inspired to bring my new knowledge back into the classroom. The NCHE is doing amazing work engaging teachers and students and promoting history. 



I attended the conference last year in Albuquerque and it was amazing, which brought me back again this year. I learned so much from so many valued and talented teachers, professors, and historians.  This year, my expectations were exceeded.  The excursions were some of the best I’ve ever been on as a lover of History.  Exploring the Florida estuary was by far my best experience of the trip.  I knew about St. Augustine before arrival, but I learned so much more about the amazing city, through the various excursions.  The presentations were an amazing experience in itself.  The participants in the breakout sessions were absolutely amazing, well-prepared, and spread so much knowledge to myself and other participants. The vendors this year were also incredible. I have a meeting next weekend with the Army’s archives in Carlisle, PA because they are so adamant about teachers using their primary sources about the military. The fact that I came home with so much material to share with other teachers and to share with my students is more than I could have imagined. I was lucky enough to receive the Fritz scholarship, so getting all of this made my experience even more special. I gained a lot from my conference last year, but I didn’t participate in the excursions. This year I got the full experience and cannot wait until next year!



What a wonderful way to start my spring vacation - surrounding myself with history! I have never attended an NCHE conference before and wasn’t sure what to expect. This year’s NCHE conference in St. Augustine provided me with the opportunity to spend time learning new ways to engage my students, listening to well-known historians and authors, and connecting/reconnecting with colleagues.

I knew immediately after attending the first session, WANTED: God, Gold, and Glory: Spanish Exploration of the American Southeast, that I was attending a top-notch conference. Right away I had something I could take back and use in my classroom. This same experience was repeated in each session I attended. It was helpful to know that when a conflict came up of which session to attend, I didn’t have to try to spend a little time in each because all the sessions were downloaded onto my flash drive courtesy of the Newseum. I also didn’t have to struggle to rapidly write down everything the speaker was saying, but could sit back and just truly listen to the presentation knowing the power point and any handouts would be on that flash drive.

The keynote speakers were engaging, entertaining, and very informative. J. Michael Francis makes this transplant appreciate the history of Florida each time I hear him speak, and this time was no different. I am always thrilled to meet and listen to Carol Berkin, whose books I thoroughly enjoy. Joanne Freeman and Cokie Roberts were amazing.

I met so many new people who share a common passion - teaching history. The event at the Colonial Quarter and the lunches allowed us the opportunity to sit, talk, and share ideas. Even more thrilling was the opportunity to catch up with colleagues met at other summer teacher institutes.

I would like to thank the NCHE Board of Directors for selecting me as scholarship winner that allowed me to attend this year’s conference. Without it, I would not have been able to attend. Now that I know what I would have missed, I’m glad I didn’t have to.



My attendance at the National Council for History Education, St. Augustine, FL was an amazing experience. I went into the conference ready to learn as much as I could about Florida history and came out with a plethora of information. I had the chance to go out on some excursions and listen to experts in the history of the St. Augustine area and the advances it made through the years. At the conference, the presenters were well versed in their area of study and provided me with many different ideas to try in my own classroom. I truly enjoyed the Keynote speakers and the depth of knowledge they each had to offer. I also feel I met some amazing friends and resources for many years to come. The networking aspect alone blew my mind. People came from all over to show their love of history and yearning to learn together. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to meet so many passionate for social studies!  I know that my acquired knowledge that I will take back to my classroom will engage my students and put a passion in them to want to learn more about history. Thanks to all of the folks that put this together; you are greatly appreciated!



St Augustine Florida welcomed the nation’s historians from across America and Canada for a weekend of historical insight with Encounters in History. The NCHE National Conference was an event which embraced relevant current and historical topics with over 70 sessions to captivate even the most discerning of historians.

The keynote speakers were extremely well received by the attendees; the venue was well selected to be large enough to meet our need, but small enough to still make it very conducive for the question and answer section that each speaker provide directly after their session. Which is what NCHE excels in. We got a chance to engage the honored speakers with thought-provoking questions that deepened the experience and our understanding. The guest speakers were very generous with their time and historical anecdotes that added to the experience.

My encounters in history included serving in the capacities of volunteer, facilitator and speaker, which really expanded my understanding of the conference from a multitude of perspectives. While volunteering I had the pleasure of interacting with many other teachers who had been enjoying the conference and were as impressed with the breakout sessions and speakers as I was myself.

The 25th NCHE conference has reinvigorated me go back and teach my students new perspectives on old history. Thank you for inspiring me to give back to my students what I have learned from this great experience.



I am honored to have attended the NCHE Conference in St. Augustine. Not only were the participants exposed to content-rich breakout session, we were also involved in hands-on activities that were unique to historical St. Augustine.

St. Augustine is a beautiful and historically significant town. Hosting the conference in this location was beneficial to history teachers because we were able to visit our county’s first European settlement during its 450th birthday year. Flagler College is a beautiful work of architecture and rich with its own history. Future conference locations will have a lot to live up to after this experience.

Participants were able to choose between varieties of sessions ranging from analyzing documents to visits to historical locations throughout St. Augustine. We were able to participate in a simulation working with coquina, the material used to build Castillo de San Marcos. We could take a walking tour through Flagler College, as well as a historic pub crawl through town. The presenters were knowledgeable and willing to share phenomenal resources.  A bonus was having quality exhibitors provide sample materials in the Exhibit Hall that we could take to our own classrooms.

Overall, the experience of attending the NCHE Conference in St. Augustine was valuable to participants through the creative hands-on activities, content-rich sessions, and exceptional networking forum that was provided. I will be a better history teacher and my students will receive better social studies instruction because I attended the NCHE Conference.