The Governor William Paca Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, honored several members of the Harford County community at its awards reception brunch at the Maryland Golf and Country Club this spring.
Topping the list of awards, the national society, at the event, awarded its most prestigious historic preservation award, the Historic Preservation Medal, to Constance Beims of Darlington.
This medal honors an individual whose volunteer service, promotion and dedication to historic preservation has made a distinguished contribution to the national, regional or state level for many years. It is awarded not by the chapter but by the National Society and is the highest honor that DAR bestows in historic preservation.
“Because it is the most rigorous in requirements for demonstrating the significance and import of the honoree’s work it is awarded to only a select few individuals from across the nation in any given year,” said Emily Andrews, chapter spokesperson.
While she was on the Board of Directors for Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, Beims secured the funding for the restoration of historic Bell Manor, near the Susquehanna River at the Girl Scout camp in Cecil County, to return it to its original mid-19th century appearance.
For nearly fifty years, she and her husband have been the stewards of her early 19th-century home “Swallowfield” in Darlington, a documented stop on the Underground Railroad.
She has undertaken youth leadership and education as it pertains to historic preservation, serving on the board of directors for Hosanna School in Darlington, built to educate Black students from 1867 to 1965. Over her 10-year involvement ,she worked with local historian and African American educator Christine Tolbert to restore the building as a museum visited by local school and community groups to learn about the education of Black Americans and about life in a one-room schoolhouse.
Of all of her varied accomplishments perhaps her most significant is the preservation and nomination of the African-American community of Berkley in northern Harford County, for the National Register of Historic Places. Serving as director of the Berkley Crossroads Historic Preservation Project, she led the effort over a five-year period to document the history of the community and to secure its nomination for the National Register.
She obtained oral histories of residents of the community, entered the Berkley buildings group as a National Register listing in 2003, and co-authored, with Christine Tolbert, a book on the history of the community, “A Journey through Berkley, Maryland” (Gateway Press, 2005).
“Because of her lifelong involvement with preservation of our county’s historic buildings and efforts to educate the public about these places, the Governor William Paca Chapter, Maryland Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, is proud to award Constance Beims the very prestigious Historic Preservation Medal,” Andrews said.
The Outstanding Teacher of American History was given to James May from Patterson Mill High School. May has taught at both the middle school and the high school level, teaching high school the past 13 years. During that time, he has taught U.S. History, Advanced Placement U.S. History, Advanced Placement Psychology and Advanced Placement Human Geography.
“He is an exceptional teacher of history and demonstrates this in his love of and commitment to teaching as a profession,” said Andrews.” He has nurtured high school students interested in pursuing teaching as a profession by serving as an instructor in an innovative partnership between his school and Towson University’s Teacher Academy of Maryland Program and by serving as advisor to the school’s Future Educators of America Club (Educators Rising).”
May has served as a mentor teacher for pre-service teachers. “Through writing curriculum, participating in staff development and mentoring his fellow teachers he has made teaching better for all,” Andrews said.
May has also been awarded first place as Outstanding Teacher of American History by the Maryland State Society, DAR, and was honored at the state society’s recent state conference.
Other honorees included:
Literacy Champion Award: Mario Nandalal;
Good Citizen Awards: Jessica Dudok, North Harford High School; Delaney Fairley, Fallston High School; Colin Moses, Aberdeen High School; and Micaela Venyo, Harford Technical High School;
American History Essay winner: Jiarui Xie, Patterson Mill Middle School;
Patriots the American High School Essay winner: Maritza Mercado, Bel Air High School;
Women in American History: Carol Deibel and Dr. Phyllis Pullen
Youth Citizenship Award: Michaela Blackburn, Bel Air Middle School; Josephine Cruz Ferrera, Fallston Middle School; Hannah Harley, Patterson Mill Middle School; and Evan Oldewurtel, Southampton Middle School;
The Morning Sun
DAR Outstanding Cadel Silver Medal: Andrew Higgins, Civil Air Patrol; Aubrey Burkhardt, Young Marines;
Community Service Award: Dep. First Class Khalid Mitchell and Nancy Castaldo;
Women in the Arts Recognition Award: Pamela Wilde;
DAR Conservation Medal: Otter Point Creek Alliance;
Excellence in Historic Preservation Award: Barry Glassman.
“It is an honor for our chapter to recognize the many exceptional students, educators and citizens in our community,” said Chapter Regent Angela O’Connor.
The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) is a non-profit, non-political women’s service organization. The Governor William Paca Chapter, based primarily in Bel Air, has over 90 members who carry out the organization’s mission of promoting historic preservation, education and patriotism. Membership is open to any woman who can trace her lineage to an individual who contributed to securing American independence during the Revolutionary War.