Kern shines at state history day
Fruitvale Junior High and Juliet Thorner School led the way for Kern County with five category championships between them at the annual History Day in California competition held May 9-11 in Pasadena. In all, Kern County won eight category titles in the three-day competition. Winners, except in the “Poster” and “Website” categories, are eligible to represent California at National History Day on June 15-19 at the University of Maryland.
Fruitvale’s Heather Scott won the Junior Division (grades 6-8) Individual Exhibit category with her entry “Miranda vs. Arizona - The Rights of the Accused.” Neil Bhambi, also from Fruitvale, took first place honors in the Junior Individual Performance category with his entry “Rights and Responsibilities: Fred Korematsu vs. United States,” and Fruitvale’s Junior Group Documentary team of Deanna Arner, Hilary Clarke and William Jordan were winners with their entry “The Little Rock Nine, Foot Soldiers for Freedom: A Test of Rights and Responsibilities.”
Juliet Thorner School had a pair of winners in Junior Division. Jackie Tapia’s “And the World Did Nothing” was the winning entry in the Junior Historical Paper category, and Thorner’s Junior Group Performance team of Brooke Vinson, Emily Silva and Kelsey Galpin took first place honors with their entry “Through a Child’s Eyes.”
Kern County had three category champions in the Senior Division (grades 9-12) with Bakersfield (BHS), Centennial and Liberty high schools each registering a win. BHS’ Senior Group Documentary team of Greg Noland, Jon Dickson and George Hay were victors with their entry “Rights for the Speech We Have: Nazis in Skokie.” Centennial and Liberty both picked up wins to sweep the Senior Group Performance category. Centennial’s winning entry performed by the team of Sarah Franz, Cristina Pandol and Marilee Rickett was “Una Storia Segreta: The Secret Story,” and Liberty’s winning entry “Darkness Before Dawn: The Battle of Britain” was performed by Brittany Rice and Tatum Holland.
Kern County had a winner in the 4th-5th Grade Individual Poster category. Quailwood Elementary’s Morgan Barnes took first place honors with “The 1951 University of San Francisco Dons: A Team’s Right, A Player’s Responsibility.”
In addition, several entries earned special awards. Arner, Clarke and Jordan were recipients of the History Channel Award. Vinson, Silva and Galpin were honored with the Jo Ann Burton and Susan Phillips Award for outstanding performance in honor of the Shoah Foundation about the Holocaust. Centennial High’s Connor Crawford received the Wesley Family Award for illustrating contributions of African-Americans to U.S. culture with his Senior Individual Documentary “The Mississippi Freedom Project: Dying for the Right to Vote.” The Aronoff Award went to Liberty High’s Hannah McKnight and her Senior Historical Paper entry “A Fair Trial: Is It Possible when the Rights and Responsibilities of the First and Sixth Amendments Conflict” as the outstanding entry illustrating the United States Bill of Rights and the Constitution in history. Two Kudos for Kids Awards went to McAuliffe School’s Jacqueline Johnson, Stephen Bowen, Erin Heidrick and Yashesh Patel for their 4th-5th Grade Poster “You Have the Right to Remain Silent: Miranda vs Arizona” and Standard Middle School’s Katie Walker for her Junior Individual Performance “Yosemite National Park: A National Treasure and a Personal Responsibility.” The Kudos for Kids Award honors entries that deserve special recognition for excellence, effort, overcoming hardship, etc.
Beyond simply memorizing names and dates and reporting on historical events, History Day in California students develop invaluable research and analytical skills as they process the information gathered through intensive research and draw their own conclusions about their topic’s significance in history. Each year a broad national theme is selected to encompass entries, including local, state, American and world history. The purpose of the theme is to give a central focus to the work of all participants and provide a common “yardstick” against which the quality of research and understanding may be judged. This year’s theme is “Rights and Responsibilities in History.”
Winners in the Kern County History Day competition held March 22 in Bakersfield competed at History Day in California. Kern County History Day was sponsored by the Kern County Superintendent of Schools and the law firm of Klein, DeNatale, Goldner, Cooper, Rosenlieb and Kimball, LLP.
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