Students from across North Carolina were nationally recognized with top prizes at the National History Day contest held June 9-13 in Washington, D.C. Placing first in the nation were Mooresville brothers Quinn and Ethan Shneider in the junior group documentary category for their entry about hydroelectricity and economic development. Their teacher was Beth Robinson of the Woodlawn School.
Other winners at National History Day from North Carolina include:
• Adam Dietrich, of St. Peter's Catholic School in Greenville, who came in second place in the nation in the junior individual performance category. His performance was about the Civilian Conservation Corps, and his teacher was Joe Hughes.
• Jordyn Williams, also of St. Peter's Catholic School in Greenville, who placed third in the junior individual documentary contest. Her documentary was about Henrietta Lacks, and she was assisted by teacher Joe Hughes.
• Henderson County's St. Dominic Savio Home School students James Dillon, Ethan Byrd, Mead Krowka, Wilson Goins and Larry Thomas won fourth place in the junior group performance category. Their performance was about the Wright Brothers, and their teacher was Lisa Dillon. These students also won an award for Outstanding Entry Award for North Carolina.
• For his documentary on the trial of John Peter Zenger, Richard Hernasy of St. Dominic Savio Home School placed fifth in the junior individual documentary. He also won the Chronicling America: Historic American Newspaper Prize which recognizes an outstanding entry that utilizes newspaper resources available through the Library of Congress. His teacher was Caroline Hernasy.
• Margaret Dillon of Henderson County's St. Dominic Savio Home School placed 11th in the nation for her senior individual performance on Ellis Island. Her teacher was Lisa Dillon.
• Wilmington students James Murray, Connor Sledzik, Gunar Swartzlander and Andrew Stoycos of finished 11th in the nation in senior group exhibit category and won the Outstanding Entry Award for North Carolina in the senior division. The New Hanover High Schools students were assisted by teacher Justin Fischetti and focused on the Manhattan Project.
• Sayan Dutta, Logan Rocco, Ethan Li, Daniel Cooke and Tony Gutierrez, all of Hope Middle School in Greenville, won Outstanding Entry Award for North Carolina in the junior division for their group website, "A Lunar Evolution: Apollo 11." Their teacher was Tracie Below.
• Baylea Williams, a rising senior at J.H. Rose High School in Greenville, won a partial scholarship to Chaminade University in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her teacher was Stephanie Noles, and her senior individual performance was "The Haitian Revolution: Embers that Sparked the American Civil War.
"This is the first time in 20 years that a student from North Carolina has taken a first place medal and we are thrilled," said Laura Ketcham, state coordinator for National History Day in North Carolina. "In addition, the array of awards won across a wide spectrum of competitive categories is outstanding.
"We are proud of all 68 North Carolina students who advanced from the state contest to the national contest in Maryland," Ketcham added. "Just making it to the national level is a great achievement."
The contest helps students develop skills in historical research, analysis, critical thinking, organization and presentation through an annual competition. Students design an exhibit, write a paper, produce a documentary, create a performance or develop a website centered around the annual theme.
Each year more than half a million students, encouraged by thousands of teachers nationwide, participate in the National History Day contest. This year more than 4,000 students from North Carolina participated in the state-level competition.
For more information, call (919) 807-7395 or visit www.nchistoryday.org. National History Day in North Carolina is sponsored with major support from the North Caroliniana Society, the N.C. Society of Cincinnati, and the Federation of North Carolina Historical Societies, and is administered by the Office of Archives and History within the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.
About the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources:
The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources (NCDCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state's cultural resources to build the social, cultural and economic future of North Carolina. Led by Secretary Susan Kluttz, NCDCR's mission is to enrich lives and communities by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history and libraries in North Carolina that will spark creativity, stimulate learning, preserve the state's history and promote the creative economy. NCDCR was the first state organization in the nation to include all agencies for arts and culture under one umbrella.
Through arts efforts led by the N.C. Arts Council, the N.C. Symphony and the N.C. Museum of Art, NCDCR offers the opportunity for enriching arts education for young and old alike and spurring the economic stimulus engine for our state's communities. NCDCR's Divisions of Archives and Records, Historical Resources, State Historic Sites and State History Museums preserve, document and interpret North Carolina's rich cultural heritage to offer experiences of learning and reflection. NCDCR's State Library of North Carolina is the principal library of state government and builds the capacity of all libraries in our state to develop and to offer access to educational resources through traditional and online collections including genealogy and resources for the blind and physically handicapped.
NCDCR annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council and the State Archives. NCDCR champions our state's creative industry that accounts for more than 300,000 jobs and generates nearly $18.5 billion in revenues. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit www.ncdcr.gov.
Contact: Cary Cox