BUCKFIELD — Students at Buckfield Junior-Senior High School down to the area’s sixth-graders in the elementary school have participated in the National History Day contest since 2007 and every year since then they have won awards at regional and state competitions, said Linda Andrews on Friday, the Gifted and Talented teacher for the area’s schools.

They’ve also earned the honor of representing the state of Maine at the national competition in Washington.

This June, Shyloe Morgan, a 2021 graduate and the salutatorian of her class at BJSHS, is the National History Day contest winner from Maine and her work, alongside 50 other winning student exhibits from the U.S. and other countries is presented at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, and in a virtual exhibit showcase https://learninglab.si.edu/profile/nationalhistoryday until June 29.

The NHD contest theme this year was Communication in History and Morgan’s subject was Lee Miller, a female photojournalist during World War II.

“The idea for this project came from my love of photography as well as interest in war, specifically in relation to Germany and France. I have traveled to Germany and will be going to France in the coming year, visiting St. Malo and the beaches at Normandy. After delving into the life and career of Lee Miller it was clear that she was a great fit for this year’s theme. Her wartime photography was responsible for effectively communicating the change in socio-political roles of women during World War ll,” Morgan wrote in her NHD project paper.

Other reasons why Morgan was interested in photojournalist Lee Miller were because Miller was one of the first four women to become a photojournalist during WWII, she said, and that Miller was first a model for Vogue magazine, who later became a photojournalist for the magazine.

As for some take-a-way applications to her own life after learning about Lee Miller’s career, Morgan said, “I think pretty much if someone tells you that you can’t do something, don’t take that as a ‘no’ to the end. You can still do it,” Morgan said.

This fall she will be entering Thomas College in Waterville where she will study Criminal Justice with a concentration in Law Enforcement, a career path that is “not typically a women’s field,” she said. And, she said, she’s ready to brush any naysayers on her career path aside and say to them, “Well this is what I want do and I’m able to do it, so I’m going to do it.”

According to Gifted and Talented Teacher Linda Andrews, over half a million students from all around the world participate in NHD each year. “National History Day started as a small contest at Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio in 1974.  Professors hoped to make learning about history a fun and exciting experience.  By 1980, National History Day had become a national organization and in 1992 NHD moved its headquarters to Washington D.C.,” Andrews said.

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