PLYMOUTH — Students from Gilford Middle School were among New Hampshire students who had a great showing this year at the 2015 National History Day (NHD) competition at the University of Maryland.
Gilford Middle students Greg Madore, Cal Schrupp and Josh Valentine won an award in the junior category for their group performance: "Lewis Hine and the Legacy of Child Labor Reform." The trio researched the life of Hine, his photographs and his role in the National Child Labor Committee's efforts leading to the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Matthew McDonough's exhibit on "Theodore Roosevelt, Conservationist," was invited by the Smithsonian Institution to be displayed at the National Museum of American History.
The Gilford Middle School supervisor was teacher Rob Meyers, a 2004 graduate of Plymouth State University.
Another notable entrant with ties to PSU was Moultonborough Academy teacher Kelsie Brook Eckhert who received the Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year for New Hampshire for her outstanding work as a social studies teacher. Eckhert received a graduate degree from PSU in 2013.
National History Day is a yearlong educational program in which middle and high school students hone their skills as historians while utilizing sources of historical research. Each spring at Plymouth State University, several hundred students demonstrate their work producing video documentaries, theatrical performances, papers and museum-style exhibits. The winners move on to the national competition. This year more than 60 Granite State competitors traveled to the contest and PSU Professor of History John Krueckeberg said the students were among the best.
"I like to emphasize that the program's focus on developing college and career-ready skills is what makes every student a winner in the program, regardless if they make it to states or nationals," Krueckeberg said. "Doing so well this year at nationals, though, really has been thrilling for the students who proved to the nation that education in New Hampshire can make you more than simply competitive, but outstanding."
Hailing from 14 schools, the N.H. contingent competed against nearly 3,000 other students from across the country with this year's theme, "Leadership and Legacy in History." All were judged by teams of professional historians from Washington, D.C. area universities, libraries and museums.
National History Day in New Hampshire is supported in part with a grant from the New Hampshire Council for the Social Studies. The program is free, promotes college and career-ready skills and is used by New Hampshire teachers to promote independent, critical thinking skill development.