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 Searcy High School Competes in National History Day

 English philosopher and historian R.G. Collingwood once said, “History is for human self-knowledge…the only clue to what man can do is what man has done. The value of history, then, is that it teaches us what man has done and thus what man is.” Searcy High School pre-AP American history students have taken that theory to heart through a recent project. They have prepared all year for participation in the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest. American history teacher Amanda Simpson introduced this project and the final exhibition was Tuesday.

The 2015 National History Day theme is “Leadership and Legacy,” and our students provided presentations on a range of historical figures. The National History Day contest requires students to choose a historical topic related to the annual theme and conduct both primary and secondary research. Mrs. Simpson stated that her students interviewed historians from around the world. They had the option of the following research styles: exhibit, website creation, live performance, paper, or documentary. The objectives of this innovative teaching tool are many. To name a few, they encourage the study of social studies, celebrate the students’ creative gifts, provide a frame-work for hands-on learning, develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, use compelling themes, and motivate students through competition and recognition of their efforts. The National History Day also teaches students important literacy skills and engages them in the use of museum and library resources, and it teaches students to utilize technology through the use of Internet research methods.

Students were allowed to work individually or in groups, and they had a specific set of guidelines for each category.  The winners will advance to the state competition at the University of Central Arkansas on April 18th.  Searcy High School students were judged at the district level by Patsy Ramsey of University of Central Arkansas, Arkansas State Capitol historian David Ware, and Harding University graduate student Jason Edens. The following were named winners at Searcy High School.

(Paper) Everett Kirkman- Amelia Bloomer: The Late Bloomer to Progressive Movements of “Bloomer?”

(Individual Performance) Lauren Bowles-Josephine Baker: Leading the Way to Equality and Leaving a Legacy of Freedom

(Group Performance) 1st place/Jamie Hall and Tori Brown-Give My Regards to Broadway! A Visual Description of how Musical Theatre has Impacted the United States Throughout History

2nd place/Laken Randolph, Katlynn Vaughn, Mallogy Wagner, and Hannah Hall-The Father of Horror: Edgar Allen Poe and His Legacy

(Group Documentary) 1st place/Kaylan Hopkins and Abby Hamby-Charles Grandison Finney: The Principles of Living for God

2nd place/Mikayla West and Claire Farley-If You Make an Animation of a Mouse, He Will Become a Leader in Education

(Individual Documentary)1st Place/ Margaret Lim-Leadership in Humanitarian Aid: Audrey Hepburn’s Legacy with Foreign Affairs

2nd place/Emma Booth-Women and Leadership in the United States Military

(Group Website) 1st place/Michael Kidd, Ashley Skabronski, Joey Reardon, Henry Nguyen, and Danny Ebner-John Brown: He Who Sparked the Civil War

2nd place/Anna Rousell and Dillon Rea-Billy Graham: Leading America to a New Revival

3rd place/Ethan Turner, Neko Chaney, Tyler Clark, and Nathan Runsik-Andrew Carnegie: Steeling the Industry

(Individual Website) 1st place/AleyAnn Threlkeld-The Art of Army: Preserving and Restoring Culture in Europe

2nd place/Davis Threlkeld-13 Days that Changed America: President John F. Kennedy’s Leadership During the Cuban Missile Crisis

3rd place/Hallie Jackson-Elizabeth Cady Stanton: The Mother of Leadership for Women’s Rights

(Group Exhibit) 1st place/Madison Moffitt and Emily Housley-Coco Chanel: Fashioning a Legacy

2nd place/Sophia Eads, Gracen Watson, and Derrell Giddens-Walt Disney: Leading the Entertainment Industry

3rd place/Madison Phillips, Emma Thompson, and Bettsey Kirker-Dorthea Dix: Breaking the Bonds of Society for the Mentally Impaired

(Individual Exhibit)1st place/Harley Pearce-The Kefauver-Harris Amendments and the Leadership of Francis Kelsey

2nd place/Lauren Ridings-Determined Fight for Equal Pay: The Leadership of Lilly Ledbetter

3rd place/Gracie McConnell-Behind Every Great Man is an Even Greater Woman: The Legacy of the First Ladies and How They Lead America


Congratulations to all these winners and all the students who participated for their hard work and commitment to this project. We wish the winners the very best in the state competition!