LEWISBURG — Tri-County North students Parker Williams and Devin Corrington recently competed in the National History Day Competition. The competition was held from June 9-13 at the University of Maryland, College Park. They won the Ohio Outstanding Entry award and an honorable mention.
According to Tri-County North history teacher Debbie Pierson, National History Day is a nonprofit educational organization that promotes the teaching and learning of history in middle and high schools around the world through a variety of programs for teachers and students in grades. The largest program is the National History Day Contest. Established in 1974, the National History Day Contest encourages more than half a million middle and high school students around the world to conduct original research on historical topics of interest.
Students present projects at the local and affiliate levels. The top two projects from every category are invited to the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park.
This is the third year Williams and Corrington have competed at History Day as a team, but it is their second year in a row making it to nationals.
Their project this year is titled From Military Heroes to Surplus Equipment: The Triumphant and Tragic Story of the Dogs Who Fought in Vietnam. They learned that the Vietnam War Dogs saved over 10,000 soldiers and boosted morale during the war. They were abandoned after the war and either euthanized or given to South Vietnamese army. As a result, the Vietnam War Dog handlers enacted laws to ensure dogs return to the U.S. and are available for adoption after their service to our country.
“We are ecstatic to be a part of National History Day again this year. This year we were asked to represent Ohio by setting up our exhibit at the Smithsonian National American History Museum on June 12. We will get to share our project with all the people who visit the museum,” they said.
“It is a lot of hard work, but it’s fun. We have met a lot of new people and have visited many new places while doing our research. This year we know more about what to expect. We know the rubric better now and used the feedback from last year’s competition to improve our project this year. Getting Honorable Mention last year was incredible! It means we were in the top 20 of competitors in the entire nation.
“We hope that telling the story of the dogs who fought in Vietnam will bring awareness about how much the dogs did for our country. This knowledge will help prevent anything like this from happening again.
“It is also important to share that we could not have made it to Nationals without the support of our school, family, and the amazing people we met while doing our research. We had many dog handlers help by providing pictures, documents, and by answering interview questions. One Vietnam Dog Handler, John Meeks, even came to TCN and presented to all of the middle school students. He brought a retired war dog, Sargent Brutuz, with him. We emailed questions constantly and received feedback from Dr. Betsy Hedler at Ohio History Day. Tri-County North staff were a big support to us throughout this process. We had teachers provided feedback, proofread, and teach us about active writing. Everyone has been willing to help!”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH