BV students advance in History Day competition
By Kelby Newcomb
Four Berryville Middle School students have qualified for the national level of the National History Day competition this June at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md.
Emma Hall, Karson Deatherage and Alyvia Scroggins won second place in Junior Group Performance, and Sadie Sharp won second place in Individual Group Performance at the state National History Day competition on Saturday, April 13, at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway.
Sharp said she was surprised to qualify for nationals because this was her first time competing.
“I didn’t think I was going to nationals because I did not have the strongest bibliography,” she said. “I’d heard people talk about how you usually don’t go your first year, so I didn’t expect it at all.”
She said the state competition was more challenging because the best students from the state were there. Her set also caused an unexpected hurdle, she said.
“Right before I did my performance, I was getting my set ready, and a board popped out and hit me in the lip,” Sharp said, laughing. “I had a bloody lip right before I went on.”
She said she plans to works on her bibliography more before nationals.
“I need to annotate it more and add a couple of things to my script,” she said.
Deatherage said it felt good to win second place in Junior Group Performance with Hall and Scroggins.
“They were having trouble with the screen and clicked the button one too many times,” he said, “so it showed that we had gotten second before they announced it.”
“We were proud that we qualified to go to Maryland,” Scroggins said. “We went up on the stage, but then they called the first place winner.”
“It was the team we beat in regionals,” Hall said.
“In my mind, I was like ‘Yay! We got second,’ and Emma was shaking her head,” Scroggins said, laughing. “I was like ‘Are you OK?’ and she was like ‘No!’ ”
Hall said their goal is to score higher than the first-place team again at nationals.
“We’re probably going to make changes to our script,” Deatherage said.
“We definitely need to have more emotion in our performance,” Scroggins said.
“That’s the main thing the judges said,” Hall said.
Deatherage said their performance is the right length of time, but it always ends up being shorter on stage.
“Something about performing speeds everything up when you finally get on stage,” said gifted and talented (GT) teacher Delene McCoy. “Things seem to go a little faster than they do in rehearsals.”
Hall said she, Scroggins and Deatherage are excited to go to nationals again this year.
“I’m excited to trade pins again! I love that part,” she said.
“I think now that we know what we’re walking into it’s going to be a lot less stressful,” said Scroggins.
“We know where everything is this time,” said Hall.
“That’s questionable,” said Scroggins.
Sharp said she is excited to meet students from across the country and outside of it at nationals.
“I just like getting to go and meet new people because I’m a very social person,” she said. “My parents are going to take me to see all the monuments around Maryland and Washington D.C., so that’s very exciting.”
Deatherage said he likes the museums and monuments they got to see last year.
“There were a couple of museums we didn’t get to go to last year in Washington D.C.,” said Scroggins, “and I think we’re going to be able to visit those this year. Emma is set on going to the spy museum.”
McCoy said they will probably end up holding some kind of fundraiser to help fund the trip.
“They did get the registration fees at nationals paid by winning state,” she said. “They will be like students while on the University of Maryland campus, so they get meal cards and room and board.”
She said Arkansas Heritage also offers a $600 travel grant that the students will be eligible to receive.
“We will probably do some fundraising because there are always other expenses,” McCoy said.
She said she is extremely proud of her students’ work.
“Any time you obtain this level of success it really proves the worth of the work the students put in,” she said, “historically and analytically and in their research, too. I’m really proud. I’m just fortunate to be their teacher.”
McCoy said the students are taking a break from National History Day right now to focus on testing and will start preparing for nationals in May.