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March 27, 2008
Contact: Don Cookson

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap Applauds 2008 Maine History Day as “Our Best Ever”

Augusta- Wth a new venue, increased participation, and a visit from the Executive Director of National History Day, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap declared the 2008 Maine History Day event as “far and away the most successful History Day we’ve had. The students involved this year put forward some of the most impressive, high-caliber work our esteemed judges have seen to date. Their work is proof positive Maine’s students are both interested in and engaged by the study of some of history’s most important events.”

Maine History Day is a competition open to all middle and high school students as part of National History Day. Some 70 students participated in this year’s event, which was held for the first time at the University of Maine at Augusta. “The new location is a perfect location for this scholarly competition,” said Nicole Ladner, Director of Special Projects for the Department of the Secretary of State and the State Coordinator of Maine History Day. “The academic setting is very appealing to the kids- it’s great they get to visit a college campus for this event. UMaine Augusta’s Student Technology Center features ‘smart’classrooms outfitted with computers and audio/visual equipment that perfectly meet all the students’ needs for even the most elaborate presentations. Additionally, one of the competition’s categories centers around live performance pieces created by the students, and UMA’s Jewett Hall Auditorium proved to be a fantastic venue for them to really showcase their talents.”

A total of 44 students claimed prizes during an afternoon awards ceremony, attended by Maine’s First Lady Karen Baldacci and Cathy Gorn, the Executive Director of  National History Day. Of those, 35 prize winners qualified to participate in the National History Day finals, held annually at the University of Maryland in June.  The complete listing of this year’s winners is available here: Maine State Archives: 2008 History Day Winners