History Day Happenings

St. George’s continues to compete at the West Tennessee regional history day competition


Photo: Snowden Farnsworth

The West Tennessee History Day presentation was shown in the exhibit room.

St. George’s was well represented on Feb. 23, 2019 by over forty students from the seventh and eighth grades who competed at the West Tennessee History Day contest, volunteers from the junior class and teachers. Eleven St. George’s competitors walked away with awards and will proceed to the state competition level.

At the regional competition, St. George’s students compete with students from other schools around the area.

“It’s always good to see our competition,” seventh grade Civics teacher Mr. Chris Miller said. “I talk about competition, but sometimes you get great ideas from people. It’s kind of just interesting to see teachers who are doing the same things that you’re doing but at different schools.”

Students who participate in the contest pick a topic that interests them from the current year’s theme, which this year was triumph and tragedy. This gives students the opportunity to dive deeper into history.

Angelina David chose to do her eighth grade history project on the triumph of Queen Elizabeth II. Along with her research, she wrote a monologue and went on to compete in the individual performance category.

“Everyone has a story, and it’s cool that we get to tell them,” David said.

In addition to learning history through the topic of their choosing, participating students also gain study skills.

I’ve learned that it’s important to manage your time well, which I’m thankfully pretty good at doing,” David said. “It’s important to make sure that you’re super prepared for this. Last year I wasn’t as prepared, and it didn’t go as well as I would have hoped. But I learned from my mistakes.”

Ms. Ashley Dabbraccio, the assistant district coordinator of History Day, finds that the skills students gain will be beneficial for their future.

“They did a study that showed that students who participate in history day do better on standardized testing, and they have better writing skills,” Ms. Dabbraccio said. “It forces them to write papers, to write blurbs for their boards. It’s teaching skills that students might not realize that they’re gaining but it’s really important in teaching those skills that are going to prepare them for writing a college paper or going onto the job force and being able to do an interview and explain things. It’s teaching professional development skills that are really important.”

Some members of the junior class were also in attendance at the regional competition to volunteer.

I think it’s a really cool thing that we are able to do at St. George’s what kids are encouraged to do,” junior Silas Rhodes said.

St. George’s has been participating in History Day for 17 years by making it a part of the seventh and eighth grade history curriculum. Not all schools approach it this way.

“Everybody does it a bit differently,” Dabbraccio said. “Some have entire schools [get involved], and for others it’s basically an after-school club. It’s really great to see how the teachers and students interact when they do it and why students have gotten involved, whether it’s because ‘my school made me do it’ or other students that are like, ‘I was really intrigued by the topic.’”

St. George’s students’ hard work throughout the year payed off and won a total of 11 awards at the regional history day competition.


Individual Documentaries

3rd Place – Taylor Crutcher

Group Documentaries

3rd Place – Deacon Larson, Huffman Smith and Justin Bourdeau

Individual Performances

1st Place – Kate Vento

3rd Place – Angelina David

Individual Websites

2nd Place – Abbey Vincent

Group Websites

2nd Place – Mayyadah Alzaben and Sophie Stone

Individual Exhibits

1st Place – Deja Harris

Group Exhibits

1st Place – Nate Mencke and Owen Klco

2nd Place – Alexa Paharik, Morgan Paharik, Dakota Partee and Bella Taylor

3rd Place – Cody Cox, Keifer Cox and Hudson Bryan

Special Awards:

Jack Whitaker and Griffin Jackson were recognized by the West Tennessee Historical Society for having the Best Group Exhibit focusing on West Tennessee history. They won $100.