North Country Students Advance to New York State History Day

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Mackenzie Strum, from Ticonderoga High School, placed first in the Senior Individual Performance category at North Country History Day for her performance “Frances Perkins: The Woman behind the New Deal.”

Eighteen middle and high school students from the North Country won top prizes at North Country History Day on Saturday, March 7th, 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 27th.

“What a great day!” said Rich Strum, Fort Ticonderoga’s Director of Education and North Country Regional Coordinator for New York State History Day. “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 Leadership and Legacy in History.”

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

  • Aileen Crain and Grace Sayward, from a home school group in Champlain, New York, took first place in the Group Performance category with their performance “The Blackwell Sister.”
  • Jacob Andre, from Peru Middle School, Peru, New York, took first place in the Individual Exhibit category with his exhibit “Hammurabi: Leader of Babylon, Legacy of Laws.” Francis Kneussle, also from Peru Middle School, Peru, New York, took second place in the category with his exhibit “Alexander the Great.”
  • Lorelei Leerkes, Zoe Eggleston, Kiyanna Stockwell, and Molly Price, from St. Mary’s School, Ticonderoga, New York, took first place in the Group Exhibit category with their exhibit “Mary Walker, M.D.” Talandra Hurlburt and Natalie O’Neil, also from St. Mary’s School, Ticonderoga, New York, took second place in the category with their exhibit “The W.A.S.P.s.”

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

  • Matthew Caito, from a home school group in Champlain, New York, took first place in the Historical Paper category with his paper “The Leadership and Legacy of Woodrow Wilson.” Ray Bryant, from Moriah Central School, Port Henry, New York, took second place in the category with his paper “Erwin Rommel.”
  • Mackenzie Strum, from Ticonderoga High School, Ticonderoga, New York, took first place in the Individual Performance category with her performance “Frances Perkins: The Woman Behind the New Deal.”
  • Liam Sayward and Benjamin Caito, from a home school group in Champlain, New York, took first place in the Group Performance category with their performance “Nikola Tesla, His Leadership and Legacy.”
  • Ethan Depo and Darcy Smith, from Peru High School, Peru, New York, took first place in the Group Exhibit category with their exhibit “Henry Ford: Assembling the Future.”
  • Nicholas Manfred, from Moriah Central School, Port Henry, New York, too first place in the Individual Website category with his website “Dave Brubeck: Writing for a Cause, Aspiring for a Better World.”

Participating schools included Moriah Central School, Peru High School, Peru Middle School, St. Mary’s School of Ticonderoga, and Ticonderoga High School, as well as home school students from the Champlain, New York area.

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—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 2015-16 school year should contact Rich Strum, North Country Regional Coordinator for New York State History Day, at rstrum@fort-ticonderoga.org or at (518) 585-6370.

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