DOBSON — Surry Community College recently hosted a regional National History Day competition for middle school and high school students. Winners will advance to the state competition held April 29 in Raleigh.
Surry Community College accommodated 56 students in this year’s district competition, which includes a 17-county area in northwestern North Carolina. It was the college’s fifth year hosting the event that attracted competitors from Mount Airy High School, Mount Airy Middle School, Surry Early College, North Forsyth High School, Hendersonville Middle School, Henderson County Early College and Classical Scholars from Arden.
The community college is one of seven statewide district hosts, along with Chowan University, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, East Carolina University, Cape Fear Museum, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Western Carolina University.
Richard Shelton, a history instructor at Surry Community College and district coordinator for the competition, commented, “It was an extremely successful event with a record number of schools represented and the broadest coverage of categories in our brief history hosting the event. We had an outstanding group of judges and volunteers that made the contest an excellent experience for all.”
Categories of participation include documentaries, dramatic performances, exhibits, historical papers and website designs, with all but historical papers open to individual or group participation. Participants were assigned a theme, “Taking a Stand in History,” on which their projects were to focus.
Winners in the various categories are as follows: Nick Oursler and Isaac Renegar of Classical Scholars placed first in Junior Group Documentary for their project “Turn of the Tide: Kings Mountain.” Hendersonville Middle School students Anne Jones and Ava Moss placed first in Junior Group Performance for their skit “Elizabeth and Emily Blackwell,” while classmates Lily Simmons and Elizabeth Gold won second in the category for their skit “Kathryn Switzer: Strides Toward Equality.” Gillian Brown, Faith Wanicka, Autumn Wanicka, Hannah Buckman and Christopher Branch of Classical Scholars placed third in Junior Group Performance for their skit “Music Matters: Protest Songs.”
William Mayfield and Luke Kirkman of Mount Airy Middle School won first in Junior Group Exhibit for their project “War Crime Tribunals.” Harper Callahan of Classical Scholars won first in Junior Individual Documentary for his project on net neutrality. Hendersonville Middle School student Luke Staton won first for his project “William Still: Father of Underground Railroad” in Junior Individual Web Page.
Classical Scholars students Isabel Ward, Bryson Bayne, McKey Austin, Ellie Stout and Aundrea Hutchinson won first in Senior Group Performance for their skit “Oranges and Sunshine: Margaret Humphrey”; Surry Early College’s Brooke Quesinberry, Brianna Pack, Gracie Snow and Dana Robbins won second in the category for their skit “Madeline: Story from Boston Tea Party.” Luke McMinn and Makayla Pack of Henderson County Early College won first in Senior Group Documentary for their project “Power of the Pen: Upton Sinclair.”
First place winners in Senior Group Exhibit were Dannis Cazarez and Emily Cazaraz of Surry Early College for their project “The Great Society: LBJ Stands for ‘Other America,’” second place in Senior Group Exhibit went to Eric Torrez and Ricardo Enriquez-Garcia for their project “Tough Times, Fast Cars: A Stand Against Revenuers.” Mount Airy High School students Hunt Harrison, Chris Chanclor, Reagan Fitzgibbons and Harrison Joyce took third in Senior Group Exhibit for their project “Olympics: 1936 and 1968,” while classmates Sean Evans, Matthew Dodd, Corbin Welch and Cody Clawson placed fourth for their project on civil rights in sports. Chase Hiatt, Jacob Hogue, Darius Hayes, Andrew Hernandez and Tanner Dutton, also of Mount Airy High School, took fifth in Senior Group Exhibit for their project “Turning Point in American Culture” focused on Jackie Robinson.
First place in Senior Individual Performance went to MacKenzie Boyles of Surry Early College for her skit “Sisterhood of the American Revolution.” Surry Early College students Miguel Paredes and Tristan Crouse tied for first in Senior Individual Documentary; Paredes’s project was entitled “Hip-Hop Stand Against Police Brutality,” and Crouse’s project focused on the American Revolutionary War. North Forsyth High School’s Megan Sigler won first in Senior Historical Paper for her work on the LGBTQ community; John Billos of Surry Early College placed second in the same category for his paper “From Hopeless to Heroic: 1894 Pullman Strike.”
Paloma Serrano-Garcia won first in Senior Individual Exhibit for her project “No Fear in Resistance: Sophie Scholl,” Lauren Barker won second place in the category for her project “He was the One: Elvis Presley” and Emily Orellana won third for her project “Freedom is Never Free: Harriet Tubman.” Kimberly Gonzalez placed fourth in the category for her project “Fight for Women’s Equality,” and Krystal Irizarry took fifth for her project “Capturing the Truth: Dorothea Lange.” All attend the Surry Early College.
National History Day (NHD) was established in 1974 and offers year-long academic programs that engage over half a million middle and high-school students around the world annually in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. These research-based projects are entered into contests at the local, district, and state levels, where the top student projects have the opportunity to advance to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park. NHD also seeks to improve the quality of history education by providing professional development opportunities and curriculum materials for educators. NHD is sponsored in part by Kenneth E. Behring, Patricia Behring, HISTORY®, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Park Service.
In addition to facilitating the discovery of the past, NHD also helps students develop the following attributes that are critical for future success: critical thinking and problem-solving skills; research and reading skills, oral and written communication and presentation skills; self-esteem and confidence; and a sense of responsibility for and involvement in the democratic process.
For more information about getting involved in the National History Day competition, contact Rick Shelton at 336-386-3236 or firstname.lastname@example.org.