More students participate in History Day than ever before

January 12, 2011 — by Olivia Chock

With an overwhelming number of participants in History Day this year, the club’s advisers are busy keeping up with all of the recent presentations.

There were three to four groups per category last year, but this year there are eight to nine groups.

“The difficulty is the county competition, which only accepts three groups for each category,” said librarian Kevin Heyman, the main general faculty adviser. “So the history department has to eliminate groups by Feb. 19.”

For its ninth year in a row, the history department decided to give extra credit to students who participate in the National History Day.

Last year, AP US history teacher Matt Torrens, who is also the adviser for students participating in History Day, asked Heyman to help out with History Day, since Heyman had access to the library and had been a history teacher for 10 years before he became the school’s librarian.

While Heyman helps out with managing the school website and organizing the History Day page on the school website, Torrens organizes how the extra credit will be given, so more students are encouraged to participate. He also plays a big role in advising the participants and accompanying them to the presentations.

“It’s more clear to students what they get out of doing History Day, so we have a lot more participants this year,” Heyman said.

Torrens has been kept busy with a total of 30 to 40 groups scheduled to present their bibliography and annotations.

With all of the help from the APUSH teachers including Torrens, Kim Anzalone and Margarita Morelle, more students are able and willing to participate in History Day.

“On the History Day page in the school website, I organized deadlines for students to meet,” Heyman said. “Hopefully, it will help students manage their time.”

The upcoming county competition for History Day will be held in San Jose, and the state competition in Pasadena. Torrens and Heyman could not provide the exact dates for these competitions.