NHD States 2023

Nine Montrosians, including four freshmen, participated in the 2022 NHD state competition.

Lisa Scollins P'25

Nine Montrosians, including four freshmen, participated in the 2022 NHD state competition.

National History Day, started in 1974, has grown into a non-profit organization that seeks to enable students to enjoy the pursuit of researching a topic of historical interest and produce a project in the form of a paper, website, poster, documentary, or performance to reflect their passion and academic abilities best. Students also have the option of partnering up with a fellow classmate or doing their project independently. Qualities utilized in the competition have been honed in Montrose classrooms and shown in a competition that calls for students to interpret, research, and present a subject of history in an argument to prove that your project is the best representation of the current year’s theme. Over the course of the past five months, Montrose participants have worked endless hours and poured all their hard work into these amazing projects. This year’s theme was “Frontiers in History.” 

As a participant in this year’s National History Day, the word “frontier” initially left me with much room for interpretation and questions. I began my research by googling the definition for this year’s theme in many dictionaries and cataloging the different meanings. And let me tell you, there are more than just a few. Frontiers can be found in geography, society, politics, discoveries, culture, and so much more. And Montrose’s participants examined these definitions in order to take on many interpretations. To spotlight a few of the Montrose state competition projects to prove this, look no further than the papers of sophomores Elena Sereiva, “A Vision for the Future: Harold Ridley’s Invention of the Intraocular Lens,” Rosie Beard, “Alice Milliat: The Fight to Change Women’s Track and Field Internationally,” Grace Cronin, “The Father of Kindergarten: Friedrich Froebel and Frontiers in Early Childhood Education,” Sarah Lange, “A Mountain of Defiance: The Forgotten Humanitarian Resistance Movement During the Armenian Genocide and Musa Dagh’s Fight for Survival,” and Lily Anderson, “Oscar Wilde at the Frontier of Gay Representation.” 

Focus on the group exhibits of sophomores Grace Sanyu and Ceci Cahill Farella, “The Chanel Mystique: Her Impact on the Evolution of Women’s Fashion” and freshmen Kendra Baker and Caroline Brennan, “The Space Race: USA Says ‘In Your Face.’” Scroll through the websites of Amelia White ‘25, “Ada Lovelace: Extending Intellectual and Social Boundaries of Her Age,” Abigail Scollins ‘25, “Taking Centerstage: George Balanchine and the Formation of New York City Ballet,” Katie Ryan, “Overcoming Obstacles: The Frontiers of Equine-Assisted Therapy,” and Kate Reagan and Liesl-Ann Vaz ‘25, “Breaking Cultural Norms: The Portuguese’s Arrival in Goa, India” as well as freshmen Eleanor O’Leary and Sophie Teachout, “The Edinborough Seven.” And be sure to watch the group documentary, “Leading the Way: How the Special Olympics Changed the Face of Disabilities in America” by freshmen Carolina Florez, Megan Cloherty, and Natalia McLaughlin. 

As a first-time participant in the National History Day Massachusetts state competition, I was intimidated. But walking into the competition at Winchester High School, participants are immediately met with smiling teachers and local students to help guide them to their interview. The interview process was a quick, ten-minute conversation with two judges. And when Montrose teachers tell you that all the judges will ask you follow-up questions about your project, they really mean it. No questions are meant to trip you up or force you to argue your project topic to unheard-of lengths. To many, the state competition interview was even better than the one at regionals just a few weeks before. When asked, Amelia White ‘25 described her experience at the state competition and the culmination of creating her website and said: My judges had really engaging questions and I enjoyed the flow of conversation much more than at Regionals, which felt more like question and answers. And Winchester High School was HUGE compared to Montrose, so it was a little daunting at first trying to find the right staircase, but that was one of my main takeaways. I loved my overall experience with NHD this year as well. I was very invested in my topic, and I think my interest in Ada Lovelace was reflected in my project!” 

Through determination and perseverance, Montrose girls were able to bring their all in the Massachusetts state competition. All their hard work paid off and they have been left with important lessons and skills acquired through the NHD experience. Freshman Kendra Baker described her experience in NHD as providing a “good learning opportunity to know how to do research.” Personally favorite part about NHD is the all-encompassing feeling that comes with completely delving into the research of your chosen topic. It is an extremely immersive, and thus gratifying, experience. 

Finally, I am also proud to share that two sophomores, Elena Sereiva and myself, have received gold and silver medals for their research papers and will be moving on to the National History Day national competition at the University of Maryland in June! 


By Sarah Lange ‘25, Rising Opinions Editor