Sydney Johnson, Nasir Ntewo and Jasemine Edison Credit: St. Mary's Ryken High School

St. Mary’s Ryken (SMR) students showcased their passion for history at the St. Mary’s County History Day competition and walked away with numerous individual and group awards. History Day is an annual event that encourages students to explore historical topics and discuss a particular theme. This year’s theme, “Frontiers in History: People, Places, and Ideas,” saw students from all over the county participate in the competition.

The SMR students proved their mettle, impressing the judges with their well-researched projects and taking home several awards. Mr. Leif Liberg, SMR history teacher, spoke about the event and said, “We had an excellent showing at the St. Mary’s County History Day competition. SMR was well represented, the judges had lots of compliments for our Knights, and our students took home a number of awards.”

Among the SMR students who won top honors were Patrick Surfus, who secured 1st Place Individual Documentary for his project on the Empowerment of Women during WWII. Ryan Betz won 1st Place Website for his project on the Nuremberg Trials and Their Lasting Impact on International Law, while Dillon Peed clinched 1st Place Paper for his work on The Industrial Revolution. Maura Schmeiser won 1st Place Individual Exhibit for her project on The Wright Brothers.

Other awards won by SMR students included the St. Mary’s County Genealogical Society Best Use of Primary Sources, which was awarded to Patrick Surfus for his Empowerment of Women during WWII project. The STEM/STEAM & History Award went to Marissa VanMeter, Yemi Ojomo, James Morton, and Lyndon Porter for their project on Penicillin. The Historic Sotterley Award for Equality & Equity went to Nasir Ntewo, Jasemine Edison, and Sydney Johnson for their Reconstruction Era Civil Rights project.

The SMR students’ success at the St. Mary’s County History Day competition has earned them a spot in the state-level competition at the University of Maryland Baltimore County on May 6. We wish them all the best in their future endeavors and hope they continue exploring their passion for history.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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