Volunteers help prepare students for statewide academic competition
myself.” Kerri Barber, acting director of the Albany Regional Office of OCFS, was talking about coming to LaSalle School to help prepare LaSalle’s student competitors for the first stage of the 2012 Annual National History Day contest.
Each year, LaSalle history students and thousands of students from across the country choose historical topics related to a theme, conduct extensive research, analyze and interpret their sources drawing conclusions that result in original projects.
This year will mark LaSalle’s fifth participating in this highly regarded academic program, and the third year their entries were judged by volunteers. Barber joined her colleagues – many returning and many new to the mock judging.
Attorney for the Child Barbara Strauss traveled from Orange County just to see what this student exercise was all about. Strauss had the opportunity to judge the project of one of her young clients competing for History Day honors. She listened intently while he explained how he developed his display, his comfort talking to adults, and his acceptance of criticism. What she saw gave her valuable insight into his readiness to compete as well as his progress at LaSalle.
At the end of the afternoon, Brandon was asked what he thought of the mock judging activity and the adults who scrutinized his project. He said “It's not what I thought of them but what they thought of me and my work." When Kerri Barber heard this she laughed saying she found Brandon to be an intelligent and confident young man who would do very well in this competition and his future endeavors.
The History Department at LaSalle is made up of four teachers and three courses. Small class sizes (three to nine students) study Global Social Studies, advanced placement U.S. History, and National History Day. The
LaSalle’s Jerald Hensler teaches Global Social Studies and began having his students participate in National History Day. When asked if the
high marks. As their peers around the state hear and learn more about
LaSalle and the enthusiasm generated by this activity, there is little doubt
they will want to join returning volunteers to become involved next year.