New Hampshire National History Day Winners Advance

April 3rd, 2007 by Adam

PLYMOUTH, N.H. — In the end, everybody did win. Students from across the state were awarded medals for excellence in the creation of various projects to celebrate National History Day in New Hampshire this past weekend at Plymouth State University. In all, 57 students representing eight schools competed; all eight schools have at least one individual or group participating at the national competition June 10-14.

“I am enormously honored to have you all here,” said PSU President Sara Jayne Steen. “This is a great thing you are doing, engaging in research, asking questions, finding answers and discovering what research and education is genuinely about at the most fundamental level.”

Exeter Coop Middle School led the way, finishing with four first-place awards and two second-place distinctions, followed by Milford High School, who earned two first-place medals and Gilford Middle School, which earned two second-place awards.

Berlin High School’s Arielle Arsenault, Sarah Binette, Chelsea Comeau, Tyler Martin and Alyssa MacDonald took home the top award in the senior documentary category for their moving production, “The Rise and Fall of an Era: Brown Co. in Berlin, N.H.” The 10-minute video detailed the impact the opening and subsequent closing of their hometown’s paper mill had on the town and its citizens.

“The project itself became very personal for the students, given the closure of the mill within the last year,” said David Morrissette, BHS history teacher. “This year’s theme, Triumph and Tragedy, was very appropriate, given all that’s happened in Berlin.”

The group also earned the prestigious NARA Award, which is handed out by the National Archives and Record Administration, for Best Use of Primary Sources. Also earning that distinction were, Kelsey Smith of Exeter Coop Middle School for her individual exhibit entitled, “Trash, Treasure and the Tragedy of Exploited Workers in South Asia”; Colin Quinn and Erin Shannon of Nashua Elm Street Middle School for their group exhibit, “Apollo 13: Failure is not an Option”; Mollie Staretrop of Milford High School for her paper “Alfred Nobel: Explosive Tragedy to Humanitarian Triumph”; Isreal Piedra of MHS for his individual documentary, “The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising” and Nashua South High School’s Hilary Cheng, Amritha Mangalat and Nicole Reder for their group exhibit, “India’s Independence: A Tragic Triumph.”

“This project was important to me because it opened my eyes to the rich cultural heritage that exists in my hometown,” said Martin. “There are so many things I learned from doing this research.”

Projects were judged by volunteer historians, who focused on historical quality, clarity of presentation and relevance to theme. Following each stage of judging, competitors were allowed to improve their projects based on the judges’ initial review.

Allison Foy of Exeter Coop Middle School was the only student to receive two first-place awards. After presenting her junior group documentary with Jenna Bessemer, “Ann Frank’s Lifetime and Legacy: A Time of Tragedy and Triumph,” she stepped in for an ill schoolmate and assisted Sarah Craig and Cammy Proulx with their junior group performance, “The Montgomery Bus Boycott: I’d Rather Walk.”

First and second-place winners in each category now have ten weeks to tweak their projects before heading to the national competition in the greater Washington, D.C. area.

1st Place Junior Individual Paper
“Chernobyl: The Tragedy of Human Error that Endangered Nuclear Power”
(Anthony Baker; Kensington; Exeter Coop Middle School)

2nd Place Junior Individual Paper
“Exiled for Innocence: The Tragic Lincoln Conspirators”
(Nick Johnson; Exeter; Exeter Coop Middle School)

1st Place Junior Individual Exhibit
“Trash, Treasure and the Tragedy of Exploited Workers in South Asia”
(Kelsey Smith; Stratham; Exeter Coop Middle School)

1st Place Junior Group Exhibit
“Apollo 13: Failure is Not an Option “
(Colin Quinn, Erin Shannon; Nashua; Nashua Elm Street Middle School)

2nd Place Junior Group Exhibit
“George Mallory on Mount Everest”
(Torey Braman, Bethany Clark, Mackenzie Hurst; Gilford; Gilford Middle School)

1st Place Junior Group Performance
“The Montgomery Bus Boycott: I’d Rather Walk”
(Sarah Craig, Stratham; Allison Foy, East Kingston; Cammy Proulx, Exeter; Exeter Coop Middle School)

2nd Place Junior Group Performance
“Emmitt Till”
(Caitlin Cennamo, Abby Slattery; Gilford; Gilford Middle School)

1st Place Junior Group Documentary
“Ann Frank’s Lifetime and Legacy: A Time of Tragedy and Triumph”
(Jenna Bessemer, Stratham; Allison Foy, East Kingston; Exeter Coop Middle School)

2nd Place Junior Group Documentary
“The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory: The Unnecessary Fire of 1911”
(Emily Burton, Shannon Marro; Exeter; Exeter Coop Middle School)

1st Place Senior Individual Paper
“Alfred Nobel: Explosive Tragedy to Humanitarian Triumph”
(Mollie Staretorp, Milford; Milford High School)

1st Place Senior Individual Documentary
“The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising”
(Israel Piedra, Milford; Milford High School)

2nd Place Senior Individual Documentary
“Bletchley Park: The Triumph of Allied Codebreakers”
(Adam LaGro, Milford; Milford High School)

1st Place Senior Group Exhibit
“Oskar Schindler: A Thousand Individual Triumphs from the Tragedy of the Holocaust”
(Hillary Burrows, Moultonborough; Kendall Storms, Meredith; Kiersten Williams, Bristol;
New Hampton School)

2nd Place Senior Group Exhibit
“India’s Independence: A Tragic Triumph”
(Hillary Cheng, Amritha Mangalat, Nicole Reder; Nashua; Nashua South High School)

1st Place Senior Group Documentary
“The Rise and Fall of an Era: Brown Co. in Berlin, N.H.”
(Arielle Arsenault, Sarah Binette, Chelsea Comeau, Alyssa MacDonald, Tyler Martin; Berlin; Berlin High School)

2nd Place Senior Group Documentary
“The Berlin Wall”
(Kara LeClair, Sara Watson; Gilford; Gilford High School)
-end-
Plymouth State University (PSU) is a regional comprehensive university offering a rich, student-focused learning environment for both undergraduate and graduate students. PSU offers 42 majors and 62 minors in programs that include education, business, humanities, arts, and natural and social sciences. The College of Graduate Studies offers coursework that promotes research, best practices and reflection in locations on- and off-campus as well as online. For non-traditional students, PSU’s Frost School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers working professionals opportunities to pursue an undergraduate degree by attending classes in the evenings, weekends and online. Located in a beautiful New England setting, Plymouth State University has been recognized as one of the “Best in the Northeast” by The Princeton Review.

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