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The Carthage Press
  • Lawmakers recognize students

  • Two Carthage students have received resolutions from both the Missouri House of Representatives and Senate.
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  • Two Carthage students have received resolutions from both the Missouri House of Representatives and Senate.
    CHS juniors Kelsey Frost and Cherith Parnell reaped the benefits of a year's worth of extensive research in February when they visited the Capitol. At the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year, Frost and Parnell decided to team up again for their second History Day project together.
    The year before, the girls had partnered up to create an exhibit research board on the cotton gin, and took third at state competition at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. However, only the top two advanced to nationals.
    “That was a little disappointing but it helped us know what the judges were looking for and what to expect,” Frost said.
    That experience and another year's worth of heavy research on a new focus was just what they needed. When their RISE teacher, Kathleen Swift, heard their interest in studying topics of college and African Americans in history, she recommended James Meredith.
    “James Meredith was the first African American to go to college at the University of Mississippi,” Parnell explained, “a southern state where people were very set in their ways about racism. He paved the way for other southern states to be ready to integrate African Americans in higher education. He was extremely influential and we knew he would be a good topic.”
    This historical figure was exactly what the girls were looking for. They dedicated not only all of their RISE classroom time during school, but hours of research and creating the display board off campus.
    “It definably takes a lot of after-school time,” Parnell said. “We worked on it every day, and went to Missouri Southern's library for more sources.”
    In March, the girls presented their project at History Day at Missouri Southern State University. From there, their project advanced to regionals at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo., then qualified for nationals at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md., in June.
    “There was a whole ballroom full of boards,” Frost said, recalling their experience at nationals. “It was amazing to look at all of them and see the different topics and ideas.”
    In February, Frost and Parnell were selected as two in a group of 10 students from Missouri to visit the state Capitol in celebration of their work. They were given resolutions from both the House of Representatives and the State Senate. They displayed their board at the Rotunda, took a private tour and enjoyed a special lunch for their group. They said meeting the other individuals from all across the state was quite an experience.
    “It was interesting, especially since it was such a wide variety of projects – from performance, display boards, to speeches and essays – to represent History Day,” Parnell said.
    Page 2 of 2 - State Sen. Ron Richard took an interest in the group as well.
    “Sen. Richard has a background in history and was really interested in our projects,” Parnell said. “It shows the state's recognition to academics and the dedication in our state's leadership to the enrichment in today's youth.”
    Kelsey Frost is the daughter of Randy and Sharon Frost. Her senior year will involve AP and college-level courses. She is involved in FBLA, golf, dance team, student council and performs with Ovation Studios.
    Cherith Parnell is the daughter of Jefrey Parnell and Carissa Gober. Her senior year will involve AP and college-level courses as well. She is involved in Key Club, tennis, math league, she is district-ranked in speech and debate and took first place in the genetics portion at Pittsburg State University's Science Day in late February.
    Both ladies hope for a future in business.
    “They are wonderful young women and great scholars,” said CHS RISE teacher Kathleen Swift. “We have had a truly successful History Day program for many years. For 20 years students from Carthage have qualified for the National History Day in Missouri contest at the state level. We are part of Region 6, and Region 6 is a highly competitive region. National winners frequently come from our district, so when our students compete at MSSU, we know that we are competing with some of the best in the nation. For the last 18 years we have had students from Carthage qualify for the national competition in Washington D.C. This is unique for most schools in the state of Missouri. I think it speaks a great deal about the academic rigor of our program and of the support we have from parents and administration. It also speaks volumes about the quality of work our students generate. Kelsey and Cherith are representative of the many students we have who spend hours and hours on college level research, writing, video production, performances and web site building. Over the years, students from Carthage have been awarded over $35,000 in scholarships and prizes for their work in National History Day at the state and national level. Recently the Missouri State Historical Society, who sponsors National History Day in Missouri, has begun honoring students who have qualified for the national contest. Kelsey and Cherith did remarkable work on their exhibit, and I am pleased that they join a select group of students who have won recognition for their work by being honored at the capitol.”

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