National History Day Efforts Reap Rewards

"National History Day": these three words conjure up many emotions in Montrose freshmen and sophomores. Each year, Mavericks work hard to bring history projects to fruition--and, in the process, grow from the experience. This year, 17 students also have State recognition to show for their efforts. 
Beginning each fall, 9th and 10th grade students embark on a multi-month research project to respond to the annual National History Day (NHD) theme. This year's topic, "Communication in History," inspired documentaries, performances, papers, websites and exhibits on topics ranging from the hoopskirt to the Jonestown Massacre to the OK Corral. 

When considering the aim of this assignment, Humanities Coordinator Barbara Whitlock noted that NHD gives Mavericks “an opportunity to learn how to do the real work of history: to follow their curiosity, develop a careful and thorough research process, and to interpret historical evidence and add to scholarship on their topic.” Students see the value in the work, as well. Chaitanya Arora '23, whose paper has advanced to the State finals, shared, "We’ve gained skills that go beyond the scope of what we normally get in a classroom: How to be inquisitive, thoroughly conduct research, interview experts, and interpret and analyze primary and secondary sources to form confident arguments." 

Students and teachers agree that student growth -- in scholarship and in habits of mind and character -- is an inevitable outcome of NHD. Caroline Shannahan ’23 sums up her experience, “When the project is finished, you know you learned a lot and feel proud of your hard work.”

More than 6,000 Massachusetts students participate in National History Day every year. On March 29, eight Montrose students were named finalists in the competition and have advanced to Round Two of judging, which will determine which projects Massachusetts sends to the national competition. Nine Mavericks earned an Honorable Mention for their submissions. 

Chaitanya Arora  (10th grade) Emmeline Pankhurst: 20th Century Militant Women’s Suffragette, Violence and the Power of Deeds Not Words in the Fight for British Female Voting Rights
Individual Website:
Anna Maria Fasse (10th grade) Candelabras, Carriages, and Clocks: England's Quest for Superiority at the Great Exhibition of 1851
Group Websites:
Lucy Bachiochi and Meredith Baker (10th) - Carrier Pigeons: The Ultimate Winged Messengers
Leslie Baker and Theresa Bettinelli (9th) - Nazi Anti-semitic Propaganda: Communication in World War II Germany
Group Performance
Elizabeth Barrett and Elyza Tuan (10th) - "Pageant of Great Suffragettes:" The Evolution of Violence as a Means of Communication Towards Progress in Feminism
Honorable Mention
Hana Shinzawa (9th) - The Cage Crinoline: An Early Expression of Feminism
Anya Marino (9th) - Empowerment through Written Communication: The Development of Cherokee Syllabary in the Early 1800s
Individual Exhibit
Rosie Reale (9th) - Fighting the Red Menace: How Bubblegum Cards and Television Shaped the Childhood of a Generation
Individual Website:
Group Website:
Sophie Cronin, Anna Hvidsten, Ava Russo (10th) - The Wellington House: How Britain Used Propaganda to Monitor and Influence Communication in WW1
Daniella Iffih and Wendy Jacobi (10th) - How the Rabbits of Ravensbrück Were Able to Expose Their Story