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Hampton Cove Student’s Documentary Featured In National Museum in Washington D.C.

Jillian Boles, a sixth grader from Hampton Cove Middle School, was honored by having her work featured as a part of the National History Day’s Student Documentary Showcase in Washington D.C.  Her video, “The Story Behind the School,” explains the history of the namesake of Sonnie Hereford, III Elementary School, through the eyes of Sonnie Hereford, IV.  The student showcase was held in the Oprah Winfrey Theater, which is a part of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Boles, along with five other students from Hampton Cove Middle and their teacher, Debby Hester, are at this week’s “National History Day Contest” at the University of Maryland, College Park.  This year’s theme, “Taking a Stand in History,” is what led Jillian to choose Hereford as her topic for the short documentary.  Boles was shocked to learn that her work would be shown at the museum, because she “didn’t even think it would be one of the classroom winners.”  Teacher Debby Hester is proud of the work that Jillian and other students have done, adding that it was exciting to show “an element of local history in a national venue.”   

Hester’s other students, Elizabeth Rhonemus, Averi Knuble, Zoey Lanidus, Hallie Logan, and Gabby McCormack also have their work in the National History Day Competition, which allows students to create historical research projects as exhibits, papers, performances, or websites.

The National History Day Contest has over 500,000 students that participate each year.  Students begin projects and compete at the classroom, school, and state level, with the top two state entries in each category earning a spot in the National Contest.  The contest includes an average of 3,000 students representing all fifty states, along with some international schools from as far away as South Asia.  This year’s group even got to hear an address from filmmaker Ken Burns, and also enjoyed taking in many of the historical sites in the D.C. area.  Presentations are judged Monday-Wednesday, with an awards celebration to be held on Thursday.