Area Students Advance to New York State History Day

What a great day! Thirty middle and high school students from the North Country won top prizes at North Country History Day on Saturday, March 8th, at Fort Ticonderoga’s Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center. These students will advance to compete at New York State History Day in Cooperstown on April 28th.

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Judges review student exhibits during North Country History Day March 8th.

Not only was it exciting to see student projects, but it was great to see students from throughout the region sharing with each other their common interest in history and what history can teach us about ourselves. Each and every student participant invested a great deal of time and energy in historical research and creating compelling projects reflecting this year’s theme of Rights and Responsibilities in History.

Junior Division (Grades 6-8) North Country Regional winners include:

  • Grace Sayward and Aileen Crain, from a home school group in Champlain, New York, took first place in the Group Performance category with their performance “Mill Girls of Lowell.” Amanda Ennis and Samantha Boyea, from Greenwich Central School, took second place with their performance “Carson’s Controversy.”

    Francis Kneussle's Junior Individual Exhibit on "The Feudal System."

    Francis Kneussle’s Junior Individual Exhibit on “The Feudal System.”

  • Francis Kneussle, from Peru Middle School, took first place in the Individual Exhibit category with his exhibit “The Feudal System: A Hierarchy of Power and Privilege.” Michael Casey, from Greenwich Central School, took second place with his exhibit “The Slave Amendments: How They Gave the Slaves Rights.”
  • Talandra Hurlburt and Brooke Lauzon, from St. Mary’s School in Ticonderoga, took first place in the Group Exhibit category with their exhibit “Rights and Responsibilities of Athens and Greece.” Sophie Bryant and Samantha Staples, from Moriah Central School, took second place with their exhibit “Rights and Responsibilities of the Roman Empire.”
  • Ben Caito and Liam Sayward, from a home school group in Champlain, New York, took first place in the Group Web Site Category with their web site “Maximilien Robespierre’s Changing Position on the Right-to-Life vs. Thomas Paine’s Unchanging Commitment.”

Senior Division (Grades 9-12) North Country Regional winners include:

  • Janelle Williams, from Greenwich Central School, took first place in the Historical Paper category with her paper “Sacco and Vanzetti: A Case of Immigrant Rights.” Christopher VanDerwerker, from Greenwich Central School, took second place with his paper “Rights and Responsibilities during the Philippine-American War.”
  • Jamie Vogt and Taylor Morse, from Peru High School, took first place in the Group Documentary category with their documentary “No More Miss America!”
  • Jarron Boyle, Tanner Conley, and Tanner Whalen, from Moriah Central School, took first place in the Group Performance category with their performance “Abortion Debate.”
  • Karla Hayes, from Moriah Central School, took first place in the Individual Exhibit category with her exhibit “Human Trafficking: Rights and Responsibilities of Mankind.”
  • Ethan Depo and Darcy Smith, from Peru High School, took first place in the Group Exhibit category with their exhibit “The Brady Bill: A Stepping Stone for Gun Control.” Christina Lashway, Alexandra Lashway, Nick Manfred, Alice Cochran, and Shonna Provoncha took second place for their exhibit “Nuclear Energy: Advance without Imperilment.”
  • Dylan Scozzafava, Jonathan Brassard, Kyle Gifaldi, Cole Gaddor, and Thomas Yakalis, from Moriah Central School, took first place in the Group Website category with their web site “Arms: Rights or Responsibilities.”

A special prize for the best use of primary sources, sponsored by the “Ticonderoga, the First 250 Years” Committee, was awarded to Grace Sayward and Aileen Crain, from a home school group in Champlain, New York, for their Group Performance “Mill Girls of Lowell.”

Participating schools included Greenwich Central School, Moriah Central School, Peru High School, Peru Middle School, and St. Mary’s School (Ticonderoga) as well as home school students from the Champlain, New York area. A total of 66 students with 36 entries participated in North Country Regional History Day.

National History Day is the nation’s leading program for history education in schools. The program annually engages 2 million people in 48 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam. Students research history topics of their choice related to an annual theme and create exhibits, documentaries, performances, research papers, and website designs. They may enter in competition at the regional, state, and national level. Participants include students in grades 6-8 in the Junior Division and grades 9-12 in the Senior Division. National History Day also provides educational services to students and teachers, including a summer internship program, curricular materials, internet resources, and annual teacher workshops and training institutes. Fort Ticonderoga hosts teacher workshops about History Day each fall in the North Country and Regional Coordinator Rich Strum is available to meet with teachers at their schools to introduce the program. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal in 2011, “Students who participate in National History Day—actually a year-long program that gets students in grades 6-12 doing historical research—consistently outperform their peers on state standardized tests, not only in social studies but in science and math as well.”

Teachers and students from Clinton, Essex, Franklin, and Warren counties interested in participating in North Country History Day during the 2014-15 school year should go to our History Day web page.

Rich Strum, Director of Education

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