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Sophomores succeed at National History Day

George Menz ’16 is hard at work on his National History Day Project.
Margaux MacColl
George Menz ’16 is hard at work on his National History Day Project.

For their first year of attending National History Day, Staples High School sophomores have returned home with an abundance of impressive awards and possibly more to come at Nationals.

National History Day requires students from all over the states to either create a paper, exhibit, performance, documentar, or web site about a topic regarding their state’s history.

Most students entered the district competition, and thirty placed either first, second, or third. Those who placed at the State competition on the 26th of April will attend Nationals in Washington D.C, on June 15-19.

The sophomores attending Nationals include, Maddy Fodor, Angela Yu, Georgia Fox, Anna Eichhorn, Susie Zec and Doulas Raigosa.

Sara Pinchback and Lauren Francese, teachers of U.S history honors classes, decided they wanted to compete this year for the first time. They say they’re pleased for the students moving onto the national level.

“I’m excited that students will get another chance to revise their work and take it to the next level,” Pinchback said.

Students urge the teachers to incorporate it into the curriculum next year too.

“I believe that they should compete next year because it allows you to really grasp the understanding of History,” Maddy Fodor ’16 said.

Honors classes have been working in class on their projects for over two months and students that made it further in the competition have put in extra hours out of school.

Angela Yu ’16 said her and her partner, Fodor spend nearly a month researching their topic.

“In February, we visited the Prudence Crandall museum in Canterbury. We interviewed various people, including the museum curator, and created a short video that went along with the exhibit,” said Yu.

Alex Suppan ’16 said she learnt valuable information from her project.

“I saw the opportunities that could arise from National History Day which was really made it important to me.”

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About the Contributors
Grace McCarthy, Staff Writer

When Grace McCarthy ’16 moved from New Zealand less than a year ago, she had no idea that she would discover her passion and potential career in America; journalism.

McCarthy said that “living in America has really opened up a lot of doors [for her] to pursue [her] writing.” Back home, McCarthy’s high school didn’t offer a journalism class, so she eagerly signed up for the class at Staples.

In journalism this year, McCarthy likes to write features and reviews. McCarthy explained that because she is from another country, she writes differently and likes to cover topics from back home. For example, she wrote an article about how the earthquake in New Zealand, that happened in February 2011, impacted her. McCarthy puts a personal spin on the story’s angle, making it relatable to her audience.

The New Zealand newspaper “The Press” is delivered to her house every day, which allows her to keep up with everything happening back home.

Even though McCarthy enjoys her life in Westport, she can’t wait to go New Zealand and use her journalism experience.

McCarthy plans to move back to New Zealand with her family at the end of her junior year. Her goal is to go to Massey University of Wellington, New Zealand because they have a great journalism program that will help her pursue her passion.
Margaux MacColl, Features Editor
This summer Margaux MacColl ’16 was cliff jumping in Africa. As she was preparing to jump, she looked around and realized that of the 200 people on the cliffs, she was the only girl. MacColl was amazed at the societal gender differences compared to her lifelong home, Westport, CT. This, she says is why it’s important to travel. To MacColl it’s necessary to experience people with different values. At Staples, everyone has the same end-goal–college–so to be in another country allows her to understand a perspective that she may not have seen back home. MacColl has always wanted to be a writer, a familiar profession since mother writes novels, but MacColl appreciates the regular publication that is journalism. MacColl sees herself writing features for a magazine so that she can give a voice to the “different perspectives” she finds in her travels. In the same way MacColl likes to dive into dive into different cultures, MacColl also likes to dive into her story topics. In today’s society, she has noticed that you’re not going to read much in print that you haven’t already read online, so print journalism requires in depth research about the topic in order to find an intriguing angle. MacColl likes to find the heart of the news and find an emotional connection to it. Journalism is about “translating empathy through words.” It’s not the news story MacColl cares about, it’s about who was affected by it.  

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