North Carolina Students Winners at the National History Day Competition

Grace Amantea, Catherine Boyette, Laura Shelton, and teacher Anne Boyette won a prize for group performance at the National History Day Competition

North Carolina students put their knowledge and presentation skills on display at the 44th National History Day Competition at the University of Maryland, College Park June 10-14. When it was over, seven top 10 prizes or recognitions had been awarded to competitors from the Tar Heel State from among the 3,000 competitors. More than 100 students overall took home cash prizes between $250 and $1,000. The contest is the culmination of work up from the local, state to national level. 

“To make it to the national contest is a remarkable achievement,” said National History Day Executive Director Cathy Gorn. “It requires a superb level of research and critical thinking skills. Less than one percent of projects make it to this level. I am confident we will see great things from these students because of the skills learned.”

Four projects ranked in the top in the nation in their categories:

Group Performance, Middle School-4th place: Grace Amantea, Catherine Boyette, Laura Shelton; Hendersonville Middle School, Hendersonville, for a performance on the 1977 Woman’s Conference

Group Website, Middle School-9th place: Cecelia Cagle, Vanessa Wingard; Hendersonville Middle School, Hendersonville, for a website on the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

Individual Performance, Middle School-9th place: Eliana Proctor; Saint Peter Catholic School, Greenville, for a performance on Mamie Till-Mobley

Individual Exhibit, Middle School-9th place: Meghana Chamarty; Davis Drive Middle School, Cary, for an exhibit on the Triangle Waist Company

Other awards presented included the Women’s History Special Award to Grace Amantea, Catherine Boyette and Laura Shelton for the 1977 Women’s Conference performance which included a medal and cash prize to each team member. The Captain Ken Coskey Naval History Award was presented to Carolina Maxon, West Henderson High School, Hendersonville, for a paper on the Quasi War. She was presented a medal and along with her teacher, Melissa Waycaster, a cash prize;

Outstanding Entry Award, North Carolina Junior Division, to Meghana Chamarty for the exhibit on the Triangle Waist Company; and Outstanding Entry Award, North Carolina Senior Division, to Angelica Dinh and Lucy Grossman, Research High School, Durham, for Group Documentary on Black Wall Street.

Angelica Dinh and Lucy Grossman were selected to show the Black Wall Street documentary at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the Oprah Winfrey Theater, and were among just a handful of documentaries selected for that honor. The students were recognized with a private reception for their hard work.

A special recognition held next door at the National Museum of American History went to Madison Bayne, SandHoke Early College, Raeford, who was selected to show her individual exhibit on Irena Sendler. One student from each state was selected and the students enjoyed a behind-the-scenes program to view special artifacts not yet on display.

“We could not be prouder of our students who attended the national contest,” said N.C. History Day Coordinator Karen Ipock. “While most students are starting summer breaks at the end of the school year, these students and teachers are pursuing a yearlong passion by staying late after school and working weekends to prepare for this contest.”

For 44 years, National History Day has recognized and rewarded students for completing in-depth research and creating original projects that further appreciation and understanding of history.

National History Day in North Carolina is administered by the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and supported by the North Caroliniana Society and the Federation of N.C. Historical Societies.