Friday, May 13, 2016

All Saints' J.T. Byrne wins at California History Day

*UPDATE: I'm correcting a previous version of this post by adding a student who was left out from the finalists list and to change the status of the students. 

All Saints’ Day School student J.T. Byrne, a seventh grader, was named California State co-champion for his project “Exchanging Baseball Diamonds for Sand Lots During World War II: Nisei Baseball and Internment” in the individual junior documentary category.

A total of 1,215 students from all over California participated in the National History Day state contest on May 6-7. J.T. will represent California in Maryland June 12-16, 2016, at the National History Day Competition at the University of Maryland, College Park.

J.T. is the fourth All Saints’ student in six years to advance to the National History Day competition. Two years ago Molly Mancina won the National History Day competition for her documentary on ‘The Rights and Responsibilities of Photojournalists.’

Fellow All Saints’ students Graziella Cosentino, Courtney Hand, Heidi Hansch,  Nina Harmer, and Kat Popky were also finalists.

“My passion has always been baseball and I saw this as an opportunity to not only show the important role baseball played for the Japanese American community but also to put a spotlight on a part of American history that is not yet very well known," J.T. said in a statement. "Talking to local historian Tim Thomas and later Mr. Miyamoto, who played baseball right here in Monterey on a Nisei team, was eye opening and made me want to educate the public. The National History Day Program is the perfect vehicle for that.”

National History Day (NHD) is a yearlong academic program focused on historical research for 6th to 12th grade students. Each year, more than half a million students participate in the NHD contest. Students choose historical topics related to a theme and conduct extensive research through libraries, archives, museums, oral history, interviews, the Internet, and historic sites.

Congratulations, J.T.! Have fun in Maryland!

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