A project exploring the leadership and history of America’s 37th President Richard Nixon and another focusing on the legacy of legendary labor organizer Cesar Chavez won recognition at the New Jersey National History Day (NHD) competition at William Paterson University on Saturday.
School 7 eighth graders Hanifa Ahmad, Zakaria Ahmed, Fahmida Hussain, Majada Hussain, and Michael Torres won in the website category for their internet site, “Richard Nixon: Man of Steel.”
Their website explored the leadership and the legacy of the sole American president to resign from office. Another project focusing on another great figure from the same era also won in the competition.
Rosa Parks Fine & Performing Arts High School student Peter Echevarria won for individual performance for his project, “Heard it Through the Grapevine: The Legacy of Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers Union.”
“Each year I am heartened by the excitement, pride and scholarship the students of our district exhibit during the National History Day competition,” State District Superintendent Donnie Evans said. “Our students immerse themselves in research that fills them with deep knowledge of defining moments from our past, while honing critical skills they will need to succeed in college and beyond.”
Students weren’t the only ones celebrating, Orlando Pagan, teacher at the School of Government and Public Administration at Eastside High School, became one of two teachers in New Jersey to be selected as the winner of the Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award, an award that recognizes outstanding NHD participating teachers.
26 history projects created by high school and elementary school students that won the regional National History Day competition in March against Passaic, Bergen, Morris, and Union students represented the schools during Saturday’s competition.
The two state competition winning projects will now have a chance to compete at the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park in June.
“I am so excited to represent my school in Washington,” Zak Ahmed, one of the eighth graders of the Nixon project, said. “I can’t wait to tell people from all around the country about President Nixon!”