Our Journey Through History: National History Day Competition

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.

From Montrose, to regionals, and finally to states, Montrosians rose to the occasion and displayed their extraordinary ability to tell their own accounts of different sections of history. On behalf of the Montrose community, I congratulate each and every one of the nine state-level NHD participants: Meredith Baker ‘23 with her documentary “More Than a Me: The Decision to Compete in Berlin,” Cecilia Ashenuga ‘24 for her documentary “Deliberation During the Balkan Wars,” Cee-Cee Deslaurier-Tate ‘24 for her website “Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West: A Stampede of Cultural Diplomacy to Europe, 1887-1906,Abby Scollins ‘25 and Liesl-Ann Vaz ‘25 for their website “Pearl Harbor: The Diplomatic Turning Point Between the United States and Japan,” Cate Lynch ‘24 and Rosie Reale ‘24 for their website “Hitler’s Dress Rehearsal: German Intervention in the Spanish Civil War,” Katie Ryan ‘25 for her website “Poland: The Effects of the Holocaust on Polish Citizens,” and me, Whitney Uche ‘25 with my website, “Battle Between Ethnicities: ​​​​​​Nigeria and the Failure of Diplomacy.”

One of the big lessons that I’ve learned is the value of perseverance after moving on from the regional competition and ending my journey at states in my first year of competing. After months of working on my NHD project and my advancement to districts, I realized that my project had the potential to present much more information and events that were happening at the time of my project. With my topic focusing on the diplomacy issues regarding Nigeria’s eastern region secession, I had a lot of room to improve. I passed the regional level and advanced to the state competition after many months of hard work. I was able to go deeper into my subject and learn more than I could have learned in a classroom lecture because of NHD, and it was the lesson of perseverance that helped me get through the competition. Throughout all of this, feelings of worry and anxiety clouded my mind most. However, in the middle of it all was my determination to go through with it and continue on with my project. I believed that there was more that I could do, and I took that belief and went with it.

Other participants experienced similar challenges accompanied by gratitude for the chance to compete. Katie Ryan ‘25 described her experience with NHD: “NHD was the hardest project I had ever done. Hours of research and effort went into it. Despite it being really challenging, it was also really fun. I learned a lot about a topic I had no idea about and got to interview people who experienced and dealt with my topic. Although it was very challenging, it was one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.” For Katie, NHD was difficult; however, she embraced the challenge and relished the experience she gained from having done the competition.

Another participant, Liesl-Ann Vaz ‘25 described her experience with NHD as rewarding. She reminisced on NHD, saying: “NHD was really hard at times, but it was worth it in the end to see that all the hard work that was put into it turned out as something wonderful. It was definitely something [I] was very proud of.” All of a person’s hard work will undoubtedly pay off in the end. Liesl-Ann and her partner, Abby Scollins ’25, put in a lot of effort to produce a masterpiece they’re both proud of. Their efforts won them an honorable mention from the Mass Maritime Academy for their outstanding exhibition of military history. Congratulations to both of you!

Cee-Cee Deslaurier-Tate, who won an honorable mention in the state competition, also expressed gratitude to the lessons that NHD rewarded her with. She explained: “throughout [my] project, [I] learned many important lessons. With no prior experience, [I] taught [myself] the process of building a website through NHD’s tools and tutorials. [I] sorted through countless hours of fascinating videos, trying to pull out key arguments which would strengthen [my] thesis.” Even greater challenges arose for Cee-Cee as her project advanced, going from Montrose up to the regional and then state competitions. She said: “Facing the judges as they interviewed [me] about [my] project’s journey was also a challenge, but one well worth experiencing.” Cee-Cee explained the trip of competing in NHD perfectly. Having to rework your project over again and using things that are absolutely necessary for her project with limitations proved to be a great deal of difficulty, however, so many lessons can be taken from the experience of it all. Cee-Cee’s extraordinary effort and determination won her an honorable mention in the state competition. Congratulations to you, Cee-Cee!

Through all of the hardships that National History Day had to offer, all of the participants gave their all in the competition, and it shows. In addition to Liesl-Ann and Abby’s special award, Meredith Baker ‘23 won the Red Sox award for the best sports history project, and Cee-Cee Deslaurier-Tate ‘24 won an honorable mention. With all these awards, Mrs. Forsgard also won the Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year award! Considering all of these fine achievements, all the participants have truly shown their dedication and hard work ethic. The motivation to achieve has certainly been revealed through this competition.

Whitney Uche ’25, Staff Writer