History Day state results in five national qualifiers and one teacher of the year

Betsy Faris, News Editor

After countless hours of research, creating a project, and preparing for an interview, Individual exhibiter Helen Le, group exhibit Katrina Filer and Maddie Prather , and Carlyn Schmidgall and senior group website Lauryn Hepp are advancing to nationals in Washington D.C.
Along with the NHD clubs success, club advisor JoAnn Olsson won teacher of the year award at the state contest. She volunteers with NHD, mainly coordinating contests, along with being the advisor for History Day club at Liberty.
“I have been so involved with NHD that I understand what the judges are looking for, so I try to give students enough direction, but also understand that it is their project and they can either make those changes or not ,” JoAnn Olsson said.
The state contest was held on Saturday, April 23 at Green river community college, where the teams who placed at regionals continue on with more competitive competition.
“It takes a lot of work to create a project that is relevant to today, but it’s really rewarding to see the project come together,” junior Siri Bhatt said.
Freshman Helen Le’s project on slave trade earned her second place in her category, senior individual exhibit.
“I was so shocked when I found out I won. I figured I was going to place, but I had no idea I was going to place second, and I am excited and honored,” Le said.
Prepping for each competition requires two weeks of tedious bibliography checks, process papers and comparing the project with the rubric.
“It’s so rewarding to see kids become ‘addicted’ to doing the project, and seeing them grow as researchers over the years is so fun,” Olsson said.
NHD competing exhibits are on display in the library for student viewing.
“I am always so impressed with the students who advance to nationals, because it’s such a huge accomplishment,” Olsson said.