SAU No. 5
Superintendent James Morse
36 Coe Drive
Durham, NH 03824
For Immediate Release
Monday, May 13, 2019
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Oyster River Students to Represent New Hampshire at 2019 National History Day Contest
DURHAM – Superintendent James Morse is pleased to share that a group of Oyster River High School students will travel to the University of Maryland this June to represent New Hampshire at the 2019 National History Day contest.
National History Day is a nonprofit educational organization that offers programming to encourage students to engage in history projects, and hosts a national competition annually for students that succeed in local and statewide competitions. Students can submit a variety of projects to the competitions, including research papers, documentaries, websites, exhibits and performances.
Three Oyster River High School sophomores, Sofia Testa, Aaron Hoag and Ella Stasko will travel to Maryland for the June 10-14 National History Day contest. Sophie Sullivan, also a sophomore, partnered with Ella Stasko on their project, but will not be attending the June competition.
“These students have been remarkably thoughtful and well-researched as they’ve developed these projects,” Superintendent Morse said. “They’ve gotten real experience working with primary sources and telling a historic narrative. It’s exciting, and this competition gave them a great opportunity to dive deep into history.”
The students began working on their projects last semester in their U.S. History classes. Twelve students advanced from a competition among Oyster River High School Students and competed in a statewide competition that was held at Plymouth State University on April 13.
Students who placed first or second in their categories at the statewide competition qualified to represent New Hampshire at the national level this June.
Testa earned first place in the individual exhibit category at the New Hampshire statewide competition for her project on Susan B. Anthony’s Lifelong Fight for Women’s Rights.
Hoag came in second place in the individual exhibit category for his project on the Stonewall Riots.
Stasko and Sullivan came in second place in the group exhibit category for their project on Noyes Academy, a desegregated school that was briefly open in Northern New Hampshire in the 1800s. Stasko and Sullivan also won the National Archives of Boston Award at the statewide competition for Outstanding Use of Primary Sources.
A fifth Oyster River High School sophomore, Ryan Belanger, was also awarded third place in the documentary category for “Joseph C. Grew and Pearl Harbor.”
Oyster River High School students participated in National History Day competitions for the first time three years ago. Gab Anderson, a social studies teacher at the school, started Oyster River High School’s tradition of competing in the competition. This year, Oyster River High School’s student history projects and competition were coordinated by U.S. History teachers Jaclyn Jensen and Scott McGrath.
“These students are incredibly invested in their topics, and have gone above and beyond in their research,” Jensen said. “Their projects are truly remarkable, and we wish them all the best this June.”