Michigan Students Honored at 2014 National History Day
Michigan students were among the thousands of participants from across the United States and several territories competing in the 2014 National History Day Contest, which took place June 15 – 19, 2014, in College Park, Md.
“This year’s theme—Rights and Responsibilities in History—was a wonderful platform for our students to examine some interesting subjects,” said Tamara Barnes, State Coordinator for Michigan History Day (National History Day in Michigan). “We are very proud of the work presented by our students throughout the History Day program.”
Michigan students competing in the National History Day competition represented several cities, including Ada, Ann Arbor, Bay City, Grand Rapids, Gobles, Holland, Kalamazoo, Owosso, South Haven, Traverse City, Troy and Whitehall.
Mariah Olsson from Montague School in Montague, Mich., was selected to represent Michigan at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History with her exhibit, “Exploiting A Culture, Exploding the Land: Nuclear Testing in the Marshall Islands.” Mariah was sponsored by Jan Klco.
Caroline Yapp of Hackett Catholic High School in Kalamazoo, parent Petra Jodelis, placed fifth in the nation for Senior Individual Exhibit with her entry “Men Behind Barbed Wire: Rights of POWs During World War II and the Geneva Convention.” Yapp also received the Senior Division Outstanding State Entry Award, designating her as best-in-state.
Katie Chung, Lauren Wojciechowski and Kellie Zhou, of Forest Hills Northern Middle School in Grand Rapids, teacher Mary Beth McMahon, placed sixth in the nation for Junior Group Exhibit with their entry “Ellis Island: The Right to a Right Start.” Chung, Wojciechowski and Zhou also received the Immigration History Award.
Alex Vonhof of Kazoo School in Kalamazoo, teacher Robert Bradford, placed eighth in the nation for Junior Papers with his entry “Plessey v. Ferguson Court Case of 1896.” Vonhof also received the Junior Division Outstanding State Entry Award, designating him as best-in-state.
The Patricia Behring Award recognizes two teachers from each state, one at the junior level and one at the senior level. Traci Welch from Hancock High School in Hancock, Mich., received the senior division award, and Abby Kuhn from Ann Arbor Learning Community in Ann Arbor, Mich., received the junior division award. The teachers selected have shown outstanding creativity, commitment, and inspiration in developing student interest in history. Each teacher will receive a cash award of $500 in honor of their contributions to history education through the National History Day program.
National History Day in Michigan—known statewide as Michigan History Day—is an educational program of the Historical Society of Michigan, the state’s oldest cultural organization. Major sponsors of Michigan History Day are the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Meijer Inc., the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, and Amway.
The Historical Society of Michigan is our state’s oldest cultural organization, founded in 1828 by territorial governor Lewis Cass and explorer Henry Schoolcraft. A nongovernmental nonprofit, the Society focuses on publications, conferences, education, awards and recognition programming, and support for local history organizations to preserve and promote Michigan’s rich history.