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Burney-Harris-Lyons students earn top awards at National History Day competition

Twelve Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle (BHL) students combined to win five first-place awards in their respective categories and two special awards at the Northeast Georgia National History Day Regional Contest, recently held at the University of Georgia.

A total of 24 Athens middle school students medaled and qualified for the upcoming state competition.

The competition engages students grades 6-12 in the historical process, as they complete a program of research, using both primary and secondary sources, designed to investigate their topic and answer specific research questions. Students then showcase their research in one of the following categories: Exhibit, Paper, Website, Documentary, or Performance. This year’s theme is “Frontiers in History: People, Places, Ideas.”

Middle and high school students from 32 northeast Georgia counties competed in the regional contest last weekend.

BHL students Ruby Nackashi, Olive Forrester, Gabriela Carcamo-Villalta, and Amelia Aldridge were named the Overall Junior Division winners for their project, “Radium Girls,” an exhibit highlighting their research about a group of female factory workers in the early 20th century who contracted radiation poisoning while painting military watches and dials. The four students also won first place in the Junior Group Exhibit category.

Also, BHL student Erionna Davenport won the Southern History Award and first place in the Junior Individual Paper category for her research paper on Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman who was dying of cancer in 1951 when doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, without her consent, removed a sample of cells from her cancerous tumor that became the source of the first immortalized cell line.

Other first-place winners included:

  • BHL students Alex Suggs and Anthony Jacobo-Acuña in the Junior Group Documentary category for “King Canute’s Invasion”

  • BHL students Ayriana Moffit and Amy Alvear in the Junior Group Performance category for “Jazz”

  • BHL students Jackson Rushing, Jude Cranston, and Luiz Alvarez in the Junior Group Website category for “Henry Ford.”

Second-place winners from CCSD included:

  • BHL students Kayla Walker and Donovan Acuña in Junior Group Documentary for “Henrietta Lacks”

  • Coile Middle students Gabrielle Sturdivant and Nevaeh Hogue in Junior Group Exhibit for “Roe v. Wade”

  • BHL student Ben Bonds in Junior Individual Exhibit for “Harlem Renaissance: Jacob Lawrence”

  • BHL student Raven Doctor in Junior Individual Paper for “Coco Chanel.”

Third-place winners included:

  • BHL students Senya Kero, Noa Brown, and Jay Braswell in Junior Group Documentary for “Lewis and Clark Expedition”

  • Coile Middle students Sandra Villegas and Kenia Gonzalez in Junior Group Exhibit for “Separate Is Never Equal”

  • Clarke Middle student Samuel Lorenzini Junior Individual Exhibit for “The Berlin Wall.”

The state competition is scheduled to be held April 22 at LaGrange College. Congratulations to all of these students for qualifying for the state contest, and thank you to the teachers/school-level coordinators who have instructed and encouraged them along the way — Amy Hagood (BHL), Marcy Ashton (Coile), and Christopher Schell (Clarke Middle).

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1 Comment

Very impressive ladies. Good luck going forward. History is not only important, it can be fun and even thrilling. Good days ahead for you all!

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