Huntington Historians Headed to State Finals

Nine Huntington students have reached the NYS History Day finals in Cooperstown.

March 24, 2017

Nine Huntington High School students are headed to Cooperstown for the New York State History Day finals on April 24.

This year’s national theme is “Taking a Stand in History.” Participants developed projects in a variety of categories consistent with the 2017 theme. Students at Huntington High School and J. Taylor Finley Middle School have reached new heights this year on both the local level and at the Long Island state qualifier.

Huntington’s nine state finalists all have legitimate shots at coming home with gold medals. The top awards in each category will be announced in the Cooperstown High School auditorium following judging at various sites around the historic village, including the Farmers Museum, Fenimore Art Museum, National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and the Otesaga Hotel.

The NYS History Day finals will be held in Cooperstown.

“The performance of Huntington students in National History Day competition continues to impress,” Superintendent James W. Polansky said. “This may very well be the most successful year on record based on the volume of students going to Cooperstown this spring. This success reflects students’ interest in the topics they have chosen and their abilities to present historical concepts in a cogent and comprehensive manner. The efforts of Huntington teachers in preparing these students are also worthy of note. We take great pride in what all involved have accomplished!”

Nicole Arenth, Kenneth Fajardo and Jamie Rosenbauer will vie in the Senior Group Website category. Their project, The War on Drugs captured first place in last weekend’s Long Island regional finals.

Alyssa Befumo has advanced to Cooperstown in the Senior Individual Documentary category. Her project, The Stonewall Uprising: Taking a Stand Against LGBT Inequality also took first place at the LI regionals at Hofstra University last Sunday.

William Burton, Ryan Knowles and Bryce Vitulli have also qualified for the state finals in the Senior Group Website category after a second place finish at Hofstra for their project, Garbo: The Double Agent Who Deceived the Nazis.

Natalie Ciccone will vie in the state finals in the Senior Individual Website category with her project, Sophie Scholl: Taking a Stand Against Hitler, which finished second at Hofstra.

Aidan Forbes is advancing to the state finals in the Senior Historical Paper category for his project, Larry Flynt: An Unlikely Hero Takes a Stand Against Censorship. Mr. Forbes won a third place award at the LI regional finals.

Students will meet with judges and must be prepared to answer the following set of questions in Cooperstown:

• How did you start your research?
• What drew you to this topic?
• How does your topic relate to the theme?
• What is the significance in history of your topic?
• Why did you choose these colors?
• How did you decide how to organize your exhibit, documentary, paper, etc.?
• What primary sources did you use and where did you find them?

Historical quality counts for 60 percent of the score with clarity of presentation and relation to theme are weighted at 20 percent each.

Lauren Desiderio, a Huntington High School social studies teacher who serves as the history day club’s faculty advisor is optimistic about the chances of the nine finalists. The projects have already withstood several rounds of stringent judging are expected to hold up very well in Cooperstown.

Natalie Ciccone
Huntington freshman Natalie Ciccone has reach the NYS History Day finals.
Aidan Forbes
Huntington junior Aidan Forbes qualified for the NYS History Day finals.
Lauren Desiderio
Huntington social studies teacher Lauren Desiderio.
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