Sequim student places at national competition

June 18th, 2004


(Sequim) -- Sequim Middle School student Heather Smith took second place in the Junior Historical Paper division at the National History Day competition in Maryland this week.

The Sequim Gazette reports Smith¹s presentation was entitled "Rosalind Franklin: From Dark Lady to DNA Heroine." Whitney Macaulay¹s entry, "Grand Coulee Dam -- Miracle in the Sun," took ninth place overall in the Junior Individual Documentary division. In the senior high school division, Rosie Billes and Lara Lichten placed ninth with their group documentary, "The Battling Belles".

Taylor Ackley took 11th place overall for his Junior Individual Performance with "Mathew Brady - The Eye of History." He also was the contest¹s "Special Prize" winner for the same project. A total of nine Sequim middle and high school students qualified for the finals, held at the University of Maryland. Their teachers were Todd Beuke, Tricia Billes and Jo Chinn.


Sequim students making news at National History Day
Posted on Wednesday 16 June @2004

Sequim Gazette
Two Sequim students are headed to the finals this week after successful opening rounds at the National History Day contest, scheduled for June 13-17 at College Park at the University of Maryland.

Sequim Middle School students Whitney Macaulay and Taylor Ackley both earned trips to the finals with their individual projects.
Macaulay's project, "Grand Coulee Dam - Miracle in the Sun," earned a spot in the final round of Individual Documentary, junior division, while Taylor Ackley's junior division individual presentation, "Mathew Brady, The Eye of History," also earned a final spot.
Judging continues this week until the awards ceremony Thursday.
Internet users can see a live Web cast by following the links at Click on "NHD Contest," then "National Contest Info and Past Winners," then "Awards Ceremony Webcast."
A total of nine Sequim students and several chaperones made the trip to Maryland last week.
Early Tuesday morning, chaperone and SMS teacher Todd Beuke sent this report:
"Wow, what a long day. We had jr. projects judged today and the kids did fantastic. Everyone did a great job in their interviews and answered all the tough questions from the judges.
We had two projects make it into finals! Whitney made it with his video on Grand Coulee Dam and Taylor made it with his performance on Mathew Brady the Civil War photographer. Way to go Sequim.
After judging we all went swimming. Taylor and I did cannon balls off the diving board and we had a huge water fight in the "kiddie pool."
The nine-person Sequim contingent - three individuals and three two-person teams - took either first or second place at the state History Day final May 1-2 in Ellensburg. Sequim Middle School also earned the "Outstanding Middle School" trophy, the top middle school prize at the event. SMS librarian Jo Chinn was named the state's top History Day teacher.
Besides Ackley's and Macaulay's projects, Sequim competitors included eighth-grader Heather Smith in Historical Paper, seventh-graders Megan Helwig and Olivia Boots in Group Documentary, eighth-graders Erin Helwig and Sarah Roper in Group Documentary and Sequim High School sophomores Laura Lichten and Rosie Billes in the Group Documentary (senior division).
Macaulay also sent this note along Monday after arriving on the East Coast.
"Hi, we are having a great time in Washington, D.C.," Macaulay wrote. "Yesterday (Sunday), we visited the National Archives and the Declaration of Independence. Security checkpoints are everywhere. After that we went and saw the Air and Space Museum. The rockets and spacesuits are really cool. I can't believe that people really rode those tiny capsules into space. I wouldn't fit. I skipped over Natural Science and went and saw Old Glory at the American History Museum. We also took a tour of the National Monuments at dusk last night."
Chaperone and SMS teacher Tricia Billes also sent this note along Monday morning:
"We're having a great time over here!" Billes wrote. "Yesterday was a great day, with lots of walking, and we got back to the dorms close to midnight, with everyone having to rise early today to get ready for judging. We have a famous member in our community! When we went to the National Archives to see our founding documents, one of the folks asked us where we were from. When we told him we were from Sequim, he said that we had a community member who used to work for the National Archives - June Robinson! He never knew her himself, having arrived after she left, which makes it even more amazing - Mrs. Robinson must have made quite an impression over there! When we saw the original Constitution, a bunch of the kids started singing the Preamble (respectfully, of course)!"
--by Michael Dashiell
Gazette staff writer
Published 6.16.04



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