Skip to main content

College News

Northeast Faculty, Volunteers Assist with National History Day Competition

Northeast Faculty, Volunteers Assist with National History Day Competition

NORFOLK, Neb. – For at least 10 years, Northeast Community College faculty have been helping junior high and high school students gain an appreciation for history.

Northeast has hosted and coordinated National History Day, which took place, Monday, March 4. It is a research and project-based program that includes competitions at various levels.

Students demonstrate what they have researched and learned in front of three judges, who score them on established criteria and interact with the students, often giving them suggestions to help their research and improve their projects.

Paul Muncy, Northeast history/geography instructor, has been coordinating the program for about half of the years that Northeast has hosted it. Muncy took over from Gary Timm, who is now an adjunct instructor in Lincoln, but who drove up Monday to assist.

The program was started by Hillary Saalfeld, daughter of Pam Saalfeld, Northeast director of Center for Global Engagement.

This year’s competition featured two high schools and two junior high schools, which is an increase of one school over last year. 

“I reach out to all the high schools and junior highs (via email) in our service area. We haven’t had a lot of takers,” Muncy said. “We’re trying to grow it.”

This year’s schools were Emerson-Hubbard High School, Madison High School, St. Rose Lima of Crofton and Columbus Lakeview. A few years ago, Logan View of Hooper and Winslow also competed. There were 19 faculty and staff who volunteered to help with the program.

“This is the most volunteers I have ever had,” Muncy said. “In the past, we have had about 10. This spreads the load and makes it easier for everyone.”

Muncy said there is plenty of room for growth. National History Day starts with regional contests, which is what Northeast hosted on Monday. The top two in each division advance to state competition.

Rachel Stallworth of Stanton, who is the state coordinator for the National History Day competition, was among the volunteers who assisted at Northeast. Stallworth said the top two finishers in each state category then go on to the national competition, which is in Washington, D.C.

The idea behind the competition is to promote history and understanding of it, especially at a young age.

“If you like performing, you can perform. If you want to get scholarly or write a paper, or if you want to build a website or make a documentary -- which more and more young people are doing by making videos -- you can do it. The idea is to promote a passion for history,” Muncy said. “I also like the idea of having students come and see what other students are doing.”

History Day cutline
Emerson-Hubbard High School sophomores compete in the Senior Group Documentary, with a project titled, “What is the All American Girls Professional Baseball League?” The students were competing in National History Day, which Northeast hosted on Monday, March 4. (Northeast Community College)