Middle School’s Students To Be Honored By Weston Historical Society

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From left to right, Middle School Principal Amy Watkins, Weston Historical Society Trustee Neil Horner, participating students Evan Mariyappa, Mason Hastings, Natalie Schreder, and Andrew Brozek, and Peggy Jorgensen, Project Challenge teacher.
From left to right, Middle School Principal Amy Watkins, Weston Historical Society Trustee Neil Horner, participating students Evan Mariyappa, Mason Hastings, Natalie Schreder, and Andrew Brozek, and Peggy Jorgensen, Project Challenge teacher. Photo Credit: Contributed

WESTON, Conn. - In connection with National History Day, the Weston Historical Society will honor students from Weston Middle School for their regional award-winning Project Challenges on Sunday, May 4 from 1 to 3 p.m. at 104 Weston Road.

The students’ presentations from Peggy Jorgensen’s Project Challenge classes will be featured and will include four documentaries, an essay, and a performance piece.

Twelve of these students, representing six projects — four brief videos, one performance piece, and one essay — stood out and these students won a chance to participate in the Connecticut State competition. They are:

  • Noelle Mendelson, Elephant Rights: The documentary explores the work of those involved in saving and protecting rapidly diminishing elephant herds and includes the perspective of the poachers. (Documentary awarded first place)
  • Owen Tanzer, Faith Healing: Some Pentacostalists have rejected medical care in favor of prayers, oils, and sometimes exorcisms. Might they be considered guilty of negligence and homicide? This performance explores the rights and responsibilities of those involved. (Performance. Awarded 1st place.)
  • Alex Nordlinger and Roman Scavone, Gun Rights: A documentary about the right to bear arms and how it has been contested over the years. Both sides of the argument are explored. (Documentary awarded third place.)
  • Doran Sekaran, Homestead Steel Strike: The impact of an American industrial lockout and strike in 1892 that culminated in a battle between strikers and private security agents. (Paper awarded third place.)
  • Brenda Moore, Beck Reiferson, and Tobey Bill. Pentagon Papers: During the Vietnam War, Daniel Ellsberg, a Pentagon employee, leaked secret documents to the press, resulting in a major test of the freedom of the press. (Documentary awarded first place.)
  • Mason Hastings, Andrew Brozek, Evan Mariyappa, and Natalie Schreder, Underground Railroad: This documentary describes the system of safe havens that arose to help runaway slaves in the 1860’s. One of the stations was in Weston. (Documentary awarded second place.)

Two of these WMS teams won top honors in the Connecticut contest held on April 28, and will go on to present their work at the nationals. They are Alex Nordinger and Roman Scavone, who won first place for their video on Gun Rights and Brendan Moore, Beck Reiferson and Tobey Bill, who won second place for The Pentagon Papers.

This event represents an example of the cooperation that has evolved between the Weston Schools and the Weston Historical Society.

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