BHS students take top honors at National History Day competition

Wiesbaden, Germany -- Three Department of Defense Dependent's Schools - Europe students from Bitburg, Germany, and two from Naples, Italy, took top honors at the annual National History Day competition finals held at the University of Maryland campus in College Park, Md., June 11-15. The event finals were broadcast live on the NHD Web site.

Savon Bracey of Bitburg Middle School, Nichole Griep and Kara Elder of Bitburg High School, and Kelly Ivins-O'Keefe and Katherine Boener of Naples American High School took top honors in their categories. Several of the winners also received cash awards.

The theme for this year's National History Day was "Taking a Stand in History."

Bracey, a seventh-grader, won the DoDEA State Junior Award for his Junior Individual Performance: "The Greensboro Sit-In: Standing Up by Sitting Down." He also received the prestigious Jamestown Award for the best entry from the "State of DoDEA." It will allow him and a parent or teacher to travel in November to Jamestown and Williamsburg, Va., both seminal sites in American history.

Griep and Elder, both 11th graders, won the DoDEA State Senior Award for their Senior Group Documentary: "Truth on the March -- Emile Zola: Taking a Stand in the Dreyfus Affair." They were additionally awarded the Outstanding Entry on an International Theme, sharing a cash award of $5,000, presented by the History Channel.

Boener and Ivins-O'Keefe, both seventh graders, won the Irish History Award for their Junior Group Exhibit: "Micial O'Coileain." They shared a $500 prize.

National History Day teaches critical skills and stimulates students by involving them in hands-on research in and presentation of a worldwide range of historical topics. More than 3,000 entries were considered for the final competition. More than 500,000 students in American middle and high schools participate in the program each year.

Bracey and Elder were each accompanied by a parent to the finals in College Park. Boener's father watched his daughter win her award via a live webcast and called her immediately afterward to congratulate her.

For more information on National History Day, visit www.nhd.org.