By Tami Beaumont
The classrooms and hallways at Monroe High School were filled with talk of women’s suffrage, the British slave trade and ancient Rome as 177 students presented their projects in the Monroe History Day competition Sat., Feb. 1.
The event was part of National History Day (NHD), an academic program for elementary and secondary school students. This year’s theme was Rights and Responsibilities in History. Students were required to select a topic consistent with the theme and select a project from the following categories: website, research paper, exhibit, dramatic performance or documentary.
Students competed from nine different classes at Park Place Middle School, Hidden River Middle School and Sky Valley Education Center. Teachers Tina Kirk, Heather Cloute, Robin Oestreich, Dottie Simoni, Tonia Boyle, Liz Detloff, Kim Hornbacher, Pamela Lamb, Heidi Engle and Julie Bruck mentored students on their projects.
Teachers first introduced the project to students in the fall and each student team spent months researching and writing to complete their projects by the deadline.
At the Feb. 1 competition, students were interviewed by a team of judges and projects were evaluated and ranked. The top projects will advance to the Regional History Day Competition at Western Washington University in Bellingham March 15. The all-volunteer judging panels included board members and members of the Monroe Historical Society.
The event was coordinated by Gail Dillaway, a member of the Monroe Historical Society who has 17 years of experience working with National History Day and coordinating the contest.
Each year, more than half a million students, encouraged by thousands of teachers nationwide, participate in the NHD contest. The program culminates in the Kenneth E. Behring National Contest each June held at the University of Maryland at College Park.