MSA-West students capture state honors at National History Day

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South
These four students won first place in Senior Group Documentary for The Battle of Salamis. They are Madeline Kirby, Maelan Junot, Matthew Williams and Cassidy Blank.

Twenty-four students from Iberville Parish's Math, Science and Arts Academy placed first and second at the state competition for National History Day held recently at the WWII Museum in New Orleans. Only 70 students from throughout the state were chosen from more than 1,200 total students who competed at the local competition.

The 70 students will advance to the National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland this June.

"MSA-West will be there in full force," said Iberville's Chief Academic Officer Elvis Cavalier.

He praised the students and faculty for outstanding performances in may categories.

The MSA-West Junior level students honored and their project titles are:

-Junior Individual Documentary, Second-Michael Robinson, McDonalds and How it Changed Franchise Food History Math, Science & Arts Academy West

-Junior Group Website, First- Sydney Neal, Amber Neal, Breaking the Chains of Bus Segregation

- Junior Group Performance, Second- Kilrain Popleon, Jalen Chatman, Ely'Asia Williams, Amber Boutte, Brown v. Board of Education

The MSA-West Senior level students honored and their project titles are:

- Senior Individual Exhibitm, First-Rachel Ellis, The Baton Rouge Bus Boycott

- Senior Individual Website, Second-Cody David, Battle of Gettysburg

- Senior Individual Documentary, First-William Carothers, Shakespeare: How the Bard Changed History; Second-Brennen Marcantel The Revolution of Medieval War Tactics: Gunpowder

- Senior Group Web Site, First - Cayman Cook, John Bradley Campo, The Maxim Machine Gun; Second- Allyson Alexander, Seth Boudreaux, Austyn Holtrop, Austin Vaughn, Ford Manufacturing Line

- Senior Group Documentary, First- Cassidy Blank, Matthew Williams, Maelan Junot, Madeline Kirby, The Battle of Salamis

- Senior Group Performance, Second- Peyton Richard, Hailey Reaux, Rodney Johnson, Railyn Reaux, Selena Rousseau The Women's Rights Movement.

The students qualified for the competition by placing first or second in one of 18 categories April 20. The students created projects for a series of competitions that began at the school levels. Three hundred of these students competed at the State Contest in exhibit, paper, performance, documentary and web site categories, said Keavin Keith, MSA-West teacher who spearheaded the effort. The theme of the 2013 contest was "Turning Points in History." Students were very creative in choosing their topics, with projects ranging from an exhibit that detailed how the lives of people living with disabilities fundamentally changed services to a documentary on Shakespeare's impact on literary history. From June 9-13, MSA-West students will join others from Louisiana and their peers from all 50 states to compete. International schools in East Asia and South Asia are also participating. The state contest was held at the World War II Museum in New Orleans.

National History Day (NHD) is a highly regarded academic program for elementary and secondary school students. Each year, more than half a million students, encouraged by thousands of teachers nationwide participate in the NHD contest. Students choose historical topics related to a theme and conduct extensive primary and secondary research through libraries, archives, museums, oral history interviews and historic sites. After analyzing and interpreting their sources and drawing conclusions about their topics' significance in history, students present their work in original papers, websites, exhibits, performances and documentaries. These products are entered into competitions in the spring at local, state and national levels where they are evaluated by professional historians and educators. The program culminates in the Kenneth E. Behring National Contest each June held at the University of Maryland at College Park.

In addition to discovering the exciting world of the past, NHD also helps students develop the following attributes that are critical for future success: oral and written communication and presentation skills, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, research and reading skills,

self esteem and confidence, and a sense of responsibility for and involvement in the democratic process.

More than 5 million students have gone on to careers in business, law, medicine and countless other disciplines where they are putting into practice what they learned through NHD.

For photos of the winners, go to