Alabama History Day winners going to national competition

2018 History Day participants

Winning middle and high school students in Alabama History Day from Mobile, Harvest, Madison, Huntsville and Montgomery are heading to national competition in June at the University of Maryland at College Park.

They were part of the annual state competition this year involving 14 schools and more than 120 students from across Alabama.

Held on the campus of Auburn University at Montgomery in partnership with Alabama Humanities Foundation, Alabama History Day is an affiliate of National History Day, an opportunity for teachers and students to engage a real-world audience through historical research, interpretation and creative expression while meeting curriculum guidelines.

Students in grades 6-12 present their research in any of five different categories including: Documentary, Exhibit, Paper, Performance and Website. Winners are selected for group and individual projects, in both junior and senior divisions. First and second place winners in each category move on to the national competition.

Alabama History Day winners are:

 

Senior Division

Paper

First Place: Dakeya Chambers

Murphy High School, Mobile

Teacher: Donna Park

Entry: Women’s Advocacy in Central Asia

Second Place: Timmy Bradshaw

Sparkman High School, Harvest

Teacher: Erin Coggins

Entry:   Breaking Down Walls

 

Individual Website

First Place: Tithalia Lockett

Murphy High School, Mobile

Teacher: Donna Park

Entry: Salem Witch Trials

 

Individual Performance

First Place: Daisy Ferrell

Mattie T Blount High School, Mobile

Teacher: Tameka Kidd

Entry: Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired: Conflict and Compromise of Mississippi Voting Rights

 

Individual Exhibit

First Place: Abby Bradshaw

Sparkman High School, Harvest

Teacher: Erin Coggins

Entry: Treaty of Versailles

Second Place: Hannah Einhorn

James Clemens High School, Madison

Teacher: Melissa Lee

Entry: Charles Bliss: A Language for Unity

Third Place: Spencer Dice

Sparkman High School, Harvest

Teacher: Erin Coggins

Entry: Division of the Berlin Wall after WWII

 

Individual Documentary

First Place: Elizabeth Rhonemus

Hampton Cove Middle School, Huntsville

Teacher: Debbie Hester

Entry: The Cuban Missile Crisis: The Conflict and Compromise Between Kennedy and Khrushchev

Second Place: Cierrah Sims

Mattie T Blount High School, Mobile

Teacher: Tameka Kidd

Entry: The Great Depression: The Extensive

Effects, 1929-1939

 

Group Exhibit

First Place: Jessie Guy, Cady Shaw

Government Street Christian School, Mobile

Teacher: Bryan Townsend

Entry: No More Walls, No More Wars

Second Place: Emily Payne, Emily Stephens

Mary G. Montgomery High School, Mobile

Teacher: Marcus Thomas

Entry:   The Rise of the Berlin Wall

Third Place: Megan Griffin, Sonja Hadder, Kaytlin Thorton, Naomi Wilson

Mary G. Montgomery High School, Mobile

Teacher: Marcus Thomas

Entry: Quid Pro Quo

 

Group Documentary

First Place: Christian Arnsparger, Elijah Conway, Shalini Pandey

James Clemens High School, Madison

Teacher: Melissa Lee

Entry: Climate Change

Second Place: Ocean Bear, Michael Keevan, Sean McKinney

Murphy High School, Mobile

Teacher: Donna Park

Entry:   The Berlin Split

 

Junior Division

Paper

First Place: Alex Gray

Hampton Cove Middle School, Huntsville

Teacher: Debbie Hester

Entry: 30 Years of War: The Troubles

Individual Website

First Place: Kiana McDougall

Hampton Cove Middle School, Huntsville

Teacher: Debbie Hester

Entry: A Struggle for Power: Hawaiian Annexation

Second Place: Trenton Mills

Hampton Cove Middle School, Huntsville

Teacher: Debbie Hester

Entry:   Operation Vittles: The Berlin Airlift

Third Place: Shepard Howley

Hampton Cove Middle School, Huntsville

Teacher: Debbie Hester

Entry:   The Yalta Conference: How Compromise at Yalta Led to the Conflict of the Cold War

 

Individual Performance

First Place: Thomas Carmichael

Phillips Preparatory Middle School, Mobile

Teacher: Cheryl Burch

Entry: Eagles of Mercy: WWII Army Medics

Second Place: Emily Dickson

Phillips Preparatory Middle School, Mobile

Teacher: Cheryl Burch

Entry:   The Treaty of Paris

Third Place: Ashlyn Bo Arendall

Phillips Preparatory Middle School, Mobile

Teacher: Cheryl Burch

Entry: Iwo Jima

 

Individual Exhibit

First Place: Starlyn Fistein

Phillips Preparatory Middle School, Mobile

Teacher: Cheryl Burch

Entry: Nellie Bly: The Investigative Journalist Who Changed the World

Second Place: Michael Ivan

Hampton Cove Middle School, Huntsville

Teacher: Debbie Hester

Entry:   The Purchase of Alaska –Seward’s Folly

Third Place: Ryker Gignilliat

Hampton Cove Middle School, Huntsville

Teacher: Debbie Hester

Entry:   Armed Neutrality

 

Individual Documentary

First Place: William Mackenzie

Hampton Cove Middle School, Huntsville

Teacher: Debbie Hester

Entry: Brown vs. the Board of Education

Second Place: Lily Hoyle

Phillips Preparatory Middle School, Mobile

Teacher:

Entry:   The Lynching that Brought Down the KKK

Third Place: Morgan Lott

Phillips Preparatory Middle School, Mobile

Teacher: Cheryl Burch

Entry: Women in the Military

 

Group Website

First Place: Breylan Colley, Kirah McCarty

Burns Middle School, Mobile

Teacher: Daphne Cravey

Entry: The Great Migration: Escaping Discrimination

Second Place: Addison Ratcliff, Graham West

Phillips Preparatory Middle School, Mobile

Teacher: Cheryl Burch

Entry:   America’s National Parks: Opportunists vs. Conservationists

Third Place: Ellis Dodson, Adhvika Mahadavan

Phillips Preparatory Middle School, Mobile

Teacher: Cheryl Burch

Entry: The Right to Die: Euthanasia

 

Group Performance

First Place: Jazell Knight, Alli Merryman, Delana Nassar

Phillips Preparatory Middle School, Mobile

Teacher: Cheryl Burch

Entry: The IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

Second Place: Wesley Miller, William Miller

Floyd Middle School, Montgomery

Teacher: Michele Robinson

Entry:   George Washington in Yorktown

Third Place: Abigail Chilton, Lexi Day, Alice Miller

Phillips Preparatory Middle School, Mobile

Teacher: Cheryl Burch

Entry: Anne Frank and Eva Schloss

 

Group Exhibit

First Place: Essence Carter, Jamya James

Phillips Preparatory Middle School, Mobile

Teacher: Cheryl Burch

Entry: Do or Die D-Day: The Birmingham Children’s March

Second Place: Kessia Gonzales, Kellen Lincoln

Phillip Preparatory Middle School, Mobile

Teacher: Cheryl Burch

Entry:   The New York City Draft Riots of 1863

Third Place: Sarah Mitchell, Jasmin Ngo

Phillips Preparatory Middle School, Mobile

Teacher: Cheryl Burch

Entry: Killer Tylenol

 

Group Documentary

First Place: Cameron Knowles, Peter Sherman

Phillips Preparatory Middle School, Mobile

Teacher: Cheryl Burch

Entry: The Cuban Missile Crisis

Second Place: Christopher Davis, Gregory Watson

Burns Middle School, Mobile

Teacher: Daphne Cravey

Entry:   Conflict and Compromise of the 1863 New York Draft Riots

Third Place: Hunter Holcomb, Ray Lambeth

Phillips Preparatory Middle School, Mobile

Teacher: Cheryl Burch

Entry: Flood vs. Kuhn


“I am so thankful for AUM and the Alabama Humanities Foundation for recognizing the importance of this event to the students of our great state of Alabama,” said Cheryl Burch, a teacher at Phillips Preparatory School in Mobile County Public School System, who attended the competition with several of her students.

Entries for each category are judged by teams of three judges, at least one of whom is a historian. The 2018 AHD corps of volunteer judges hailed from a variety of organizations and institutions including: Alabama Bicentennial Commission, Alabama Black Heritage Council, Alabama Department of Archives and History, Alabama Historical Commission, Auburn University at Montgomery, Alabama State University, Calhoun County Schools, Chilton County Schools, Crenshaw County Historical Society, Encyclopedia of Alabama, Historic Blakeley State Park, Rosa Parks Museum, Scottsboro City Schools, Sloss Furnaces, University of Alabama, Troy University, and the University of South Alabama.

“Being able to participate in Alabama History Day as a judge was an amazing experience,” Tyler Malugani, education coordinator at Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark, said.

“The hard work these young students put into their projects shows the level of passion and dedication we need in our future historians. I was truly inspired by them and their love of history.

“Without a doubt I believe in the power of this kind of competition. It provides students who are interested in history a chance to network with their peers, hone their skills, and express their passion for history. Most importantly, in my opinion, it gives students a sense of belonging—a place where they will always be accepted and encouraged.”

Debbie Hester, teacher at Hampton Cove Middle School, Huntsville City Schools, shared how one of her students is a perfect example of the power of the National History Day competition.  “…he was very disorganized and ended first semester with [low grades] …but really engaged with NHD.   He now has an A in my class, and you cannot imagine how proud he and his parents were Friday that he won (first place).  This competition has been so good for his motivation and confidence.”

The consensus of participant feedback can be summed up by Cheryl Burch, hoping “… we never lose sight of the importance of teaching history. However, more important than that, we need to instill a passion for it in our young people. The National History Day program is a fabulous way to do this.”

Every year National History Day® frames students’ research within a historical theme. The theme is chosen for the broad application to world, national, or state history and its relevance to ancient history or to the more recent past. This year’s theme is Conflict and Compromise in History. The intentional selection of the theme for NHD is to provide an opportunity for students to push past the antiquated view of history as mere facts and dates and drill down into historical content to develop perspective and understanding.

Findings from the National Program Evaluation in 2011 indicated multiple benefits of participation:

  • Students learn 21st century college- and career-ready skills like collaborating with a team, talking to experts, time management and perseverance.
  • Students demonstrate critical thinking by digesting, analyzing, and synthesizing information.
  • Students outperform their non-NHD peers on state standardized tests in multiple subjects, including reading, science and math, as well as social studies.

No matter how researchers analyzed the data — by gender, ethnicity, grade level, and site — history day participants still posted higher scores than their peers.