Bronxville High School freshman Emerson Dennis recently won first place in the 2023 National History Day competition in the junior individual exhibit category with her work, titled “Equal Opportunities by Mail: How the Sears Roebuck Catalogue Crossed Frontiers in the Consumer World.”
Dennis, who was an eighth grader at the time, was among 92 students from around the world to compete in the individual exhibit category in June. The pool of students reflected the best projects from most every state and participating American schools from around the world. More than 600,000 students entered the competition while only 3,000 students were selected to compete in the final round.
“Emerson’s accomplishment was truly well-deserved and a remarkable achievement,” social studies teacher Christina Reidel said. “She plans to compete again this year as a ninth grader in the senior division and has been working hard selecting her research topic for this year.”
National History Day is an academic competition that teaches students to think critically, engage in extensive historical research on a topic of their choice over several months, practice their public-speaking skills and connect lessons of history with what’s happening in modern times. The students’ work is displayed in one of five ways – paper, website, documentary, performance or exhibit. At the competition, the students are interviewed by professors and scholars and articulate what they’ve discovered through their historical research.
Last year was the first time that Bronxville Middle School students advanced to the state and national levels of the competition and the second time that any Bronxville students placed at the national competition.
“We are so proud of Emerson for this wonderful achievement,” Bronxville Middle School Principal Joseph Mercora said. “Many thanks also to her teacher, Ms. Christina Reidel, who brought this program to our middle school after working on it for years with our high school students.”