More than 100 students from six school systems participated in the Northeast Tennessee District National History Day on March 20 at Tusculum College.
Students created exhibits, documentaries and websites, wrote papers and wrote and performed plays on a topic that related to this year’s theme, “Revolution, Reaction, Reform in History.” The top winners in each category advance to the state competition on April 21 in Nashville.
Schools participating included Chuckey-Doak High School, Chuckey-Doak Middle School, McDonald Elementary School, Mosheim Middle School and South Greene High School from the Greene County School System; Cosby High School from the Cocke County School System; Greeneville Middle School from the Greeneville School System; Happy Valley Middle School from the Carter County School System; John Sevier Middle School from the Kingsport School System, and Sullivan Central High School from the Sullivan County School System. A home schooled student also participated.
This is the first year for a district National History Day event in Northeast Tennessee. Previously, students from this area participated in the East Tennessee District competition in Knoxville.
District National History Day in Northeast Tennessee was funded by the Andrew Johnson Heritage Association with support from the Niswonger Foundation. Nikki Niswonger, representing the foundation and association, presented the awards. Additional support was provided by Tusculum College as the event’s host.
Sponsors and donors for the event included the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services at East Tennessee State University, Plus Mark – American Greetings, McDonald’s, Pal’s, Taco Bell and Zaxby’s.
Darlene McCleish, National History Day resource coordinator for the Northeast Tennessee district, worked in the schools to help students and teachers as the projects were prepared throughout the school year. Helping coordinate the event and providing guidance to the judges and volunteers was George Collins of the Andrew Johnson Heritage Association.
Overall medal winners in the junior division, grades 6-8, and in the senior division, grades 9-12, advance to the state competition.
Junior division individual winners included:
- Dustin Ottinger, a sixth grader at Greeneville Middle School, who won first place in the documentaries division with his work about Franklin D. Roosevelt;
- In the exhibit category, Vanessa Dykes, an eighth grader from Happy Valley Middle School, won first place in the individual exhibit category with her project; “Footprints of an American Soldier;” Colby McKeehan, also an eighth grader from Happy Valley, won second place with his exhibit, “The Cuban Missile Crisis,” and Hayley Willett, a seventh grader from Mosheim Middle School, won third place with her display about John Brown’s revolt.
- Ryne Tipton, an eighth grader from John Sevier Middle School, won first place in the papers division with his work, “Elihu Embree: Abolition in East Tennessee.”
Junior division group winners included:
- In the documentaries category, Ashley Babb, Jamie Lee Clark and Kalee Johnson, eighth graders from Happy Valley Middle, won first place with their work about the reaction to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln; Ali Shepherd and Addie Leonard, seventh graders from Greeneville Middle, placed second with their documentary about Oak Ridge and the making of the atomic bomb; Madison Wilder and Tiffany Walker, sixth graders from Chuckey-Doak, placed third with their project about Rosa Parks.
- In the exhibits category, Christian Durocher and Joseph Byrum, eighth graders from Happy Valley, won first place with their display about Chernobyl; Karli Ailshie and Violet Boss, eighth graders from Greeneville Middle, won second place with their display, “The Association that Revolutionized Medicine Forever,” and Haven Humphreys, Syndney Humphreys and Drew Ripley, sixth graders from Chuckey-Doak, placed third with their project about the plague in the Middle Ages.
- In the performance category, first place was won by Hana Auchterlonie, Brittany Everhart, Ashley Moore and Maddux Southerland, eighth graders from Mosheim Middle with their play, “The Fight for Equality;” second place was “Revolt of the Night Riders of Reelfoot Lake” by Luke Douthat, Whittney Heaton, Will Melton, Ashton Pierce and Allen Tolliver, eighth graders from McDonald Elementary, and third place was “Reaction to Propaganda During the Holocaust” by Sarah Beets, Joey Chandler, Alicia Dyer and Racheal Kirk, also eighth graders from McDonald.
- In the websites category, first place went to Courtney Babb, Sadie Buchanan and Mallory Hall, sixth graders from Happy Valley, with their project about reaction and reform from the sinking of the R.M.S. Titanic.
Senior division individual winners included:
- Courtney Smith, a ninth grader from South Greene, who won first place in the exhibit category with her project about the Pottertown Bridge Burners, with second place going to Jacob Maine, a ninth grader from Sullivan Central, with his project about England’s Civil War;
- Jacob Taylor, a homeschooled tenth grader, won first place in the papers category with his paper about the Overmountain Men.
- Wesley Harris, a student at South Greene, won first place in the websites category with his project about Jim Crow laws.
In the group category for documentaries, first place was won by Sierra Holder, Cody Morgan and Ashley Ruess, eleventh graders from South Greene, with their project about integration of public schools; Jonathan Burchell, William Etter, Hunter Henry, Tyler Showman and Patrick Vance, tenth graders also from South Greene, won second with their documentary about Julius Caesar, and Caley Williamson and Lindsey Williamson, students at Cosby High School, won third place with their project, “Revolution Over the Mountain.”
Awards were also presented in relation to research and topics. These awards include cash prizes provided by the award sponsors. Jacob Taylor received the “Best Use of Primary Resources” award sponsored by Lois Smith of Century 21 Legacy. “Best Entry related to African-American or Native American History” was presented to Sierra Holder, Cody Morgan and Ashley Reuss. This award was also sponsored by Smith.
Hana Auchterlonie, Brittany Everhart, Ashley Moore and Maddux Southerland received the awards for “Best Entry Related to Women’s History” and “Best Bibliography.” The women’s history award was sponsored by the Andrew Johnson Heritage Association from gifts given in honor of the late Lillian Taylor, a former president of the organization. The bibliography award was sponsored by Mapes Piano String Company.
Luke Douthat, Whittney Heaton, Will Melton, Ashton Pierce and Allen Tolliver received the award for “Best Entry Related to Tennessee History.” This award was sponsored by Copies Unlimited.
Grade level awards were also presented.
The sixth grade awards included: documentaries-individual, Dustin Ottinger from Greeneville Middle (GMS), first place, and J.T. Pierce from Chuckey-Doak Middle (CDMS), second; documentaries-group: Madison Wilder and Tiffany Walker from GMS, first; Elijah Deyton and Matthew Fisher from GMS, second, and Nathanel Moon and Jacob Willett from CDMS, third; exhibits-individual, first place, Taylor Craft from CDMS; exhibits-groups, Darli Alshie and Violet Boss, GMS, first place; Haven Humphreys, Syndney Humphreys, Drew Ripley, CDMS, second; and Courtney Jessie, Kaitlyn Robinette and Abbee Swatzell from Mosheim, third, and papers, Allison Chudina from GMS, first place; James Duer from GMS, second, and Nathaniel Ashley from GMS, third.
The seventh grade winners included: documentaries-individuals, Ezra Skwarka from Mosheim, first place; Sam McNeese from GMS, second; documentaries-groups, Addie Leonard and Ali Shepherd from GMS, first place; Drew Daugherty, Dawson Martin and Brandon Waddell from GMS, second place, and Savannah Hawkins and Sarah Troy from GMS, third; exhibits-individuals, Hayley Willett from Mosheim, first, and papers, Riley Alexander from GMS, first place.
Eighth grader winners included: documentaries-group, Sahley Babb, Jamie Lee Clark and Kaylee Johnson from Happy Valley, first place, and Courtney Adams, Samantha Mungwira and Kenzie Richardson from Happy Valley, second; exhibits-individual, Vanessa Dykes from Happy Valley, first; Colby McKeehan from Happy Valley, second, and Jessica Rosenbalm from McDonald, third; exhibits-groups, Joseph Byrum and Christian Durocher from Happy Valley, first; Morgan Hudson and Signe Mikkelson of John Sevier Middle, second, and Dylan Kirk and Spencer Lawson from McDonald, third; performances, Hana Auchterlonie, Brittany Everhart, Ashley Moore and Maddux Southerland from Mosheim, first place; Luke Douthat, Whittney Heaton, Will Melton, Ashton Pierce and Allen Tolliver from McDonald, second place, and Sarah Beets, Joey Chandler, Alicia Dyer and Racheal Kirk from McDonald, third, and papers, Ryne Tipton from John Sevier, first place, and Jade Stout from Happy Valley, second.
Ninth grade winners included Jacob Maine from Sullivan Central, first place in individual exhibits, and Luke Martin and Zach Wise from Sullivan Central, second place in group exhibits.
Tenth grade winners included first place in documentaries, Jonathan Burchnell, William Etter, Henry Hunter, Tyler Showman and Patrick Vance from South Greene, and first place in papers, Jacob Taylor, a home-schooled student.
Eleventh grade winners included: group documentaries, Sierra Holder, Cody Morgan and Ashley Reuss from South Greene, first place, and Caley Williamson and Lindsey Williams from Cosby, second place; individual exhibits, Courtney Smith from South Greene, first place, and group exhibits, Lillie Blazer and Zullybeth Mazares from Chuckey-Doak, second place and Brittany Acree, Jasmine Ricks and Tiffany Smeler from Cosby, third place.
Judges for the competition included educators and those involved in heritage organizations and agencies. The judges included Dr. George Blanks, president of the Greene County Heritage Trust; Debra Jo Boles, K-8 instructional supervisor for Greene County Schools; Amy Collins, director of the Archives of Appalachia in the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services at ETSU; Judy Collins, a retired elementary school teacher; Joyce Doughty, president of the Andrew Johnson Heritage Association; Marilyn duBrisk, artist-in-residence and director of Tusculum College Arts Outreach; Dr. Paul Fox, interim director of the School of Education at Tusculum; Carolyn Gregg, retired elementary school teacher and professor of education at Tusculum; Barbara Holt, costume director of Tusculum Arts Outreach; Angelelia Johnson, technology specialist at Chuckey Elementary School; Yhona Jones, K-8 instructional supervisor for the Greene County Schools; Ruth Kross, adjunct professor of history at Tusculum; Kathryn Mitchell, education park ranger at the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site; Garry Renfro, graphic arts and pre-press specialist at American Greetings; Randy Sanders, managing editor of Now and Then, the magazine of ETSU’s Center for Appalachian Studies and Services; Amy Saxonmeyer, artist and musician; Dr. Don Sexton, professor emeritus-history at Tusculum, and Chris Small from the Lincoln Project.