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
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
Judging continues this week until the awards ceremony Thursday.
Internet users can see a live Web cast by following the links at nationalhistoryday.org.
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
"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
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
Macaulay also sent this note along Monday after arriving on the East
"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
"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