More than 360 students representing 18 high schools participate in history competition

MURRAY, Ky. — More than 360 middle and high school students across the region visited Murray State University to compete in the annual West Kentucky History Day academic competition on March 7.

Students representing 18 schools competed in exams on United States and world history, led by the Murray State University History Department student club and chapter of Phi Alpha Theta. Phi Alpha Theta is a nationally-recognized honor society for history students, with rigorous academic and GPA requirements to join.

Murray State history professor and Phi Alpha Theta advisor Dr. Aaron Irvin has been in charge of the event for the past five years; he said participation has more than doubled in that time.

“It’s tremendously rewarding and fun to get these kids involved in and excited about history,” Irvin said. “It’s all part of our mission to teach and bring in new opportunities for our students.”

The West Kentucky History Day competition also serves as a fundraiser for the local Phi Alpha Theta chapter, providing essential funds that bring Murray State students to regional events and academic conferences. Most recently, groups have presented research at a national conference in New Orleans and viewed an Egyptian exhibit at the St. Louis Art Museum. Later this semester, students will present original research at Belmont University.

“We believe in the power of experiential learning,” Irvin said. “We’re glad to be able to get so many of our students out there in the real world, showing their work to fellow academics and making connections. That kind of experience is essential to building a rock-solid educational foundation.”

Middle schools that competed in this year’s West Kentucky History Day include:

  • Calloway County Middle School
  • Carlisle County Middle School
  • Christian Fellowship School
  • Heath Middle School
  • Hickman County Middle School
  • Lone Oak Middle School
  • Murray Middle School
  • Reidland Middle School
  • South Marshall Middle School
  • Kenwood Middle School

High schools that competed include:

  • Calloway County High School
  • Carlisle County High School
  • Christian Fellowship School
  • Dawson Springs Junior High/High School
  • Fulton County High School
  • Henry County High School
  • Mayfield High School
  • Murray High School

The winners are as follows:

US History, High School

• 1st: Murray High School

• 2nd: Calloway County High School

• 3rd: Henry County High School

US History, Middle School

• 1st: Calloway County Middle School

• 2nd: Kenwood Middle School

• 3rd: Heath Middle School

World History, High School

• 1st: Henry County High School

• 2nd: Murray High School

• 3rd: Calloway County High School

World History, Middle School

• 1st: Heath Middle School

• 2nd: Murray Middle School

• 3rd: Christian Fellowship School

Individual Awards

US History, High School

• 1st: Erica Yarali, Murray High School

• 2nd: Kati Wyant, Calloway County High School

• 3rd: (TIE) Sean Shelton and Hayden Holcomb, Murray High School

US History, Middle School

• 1st: Cesar Villeda, Calloway County Middle School

• 2nd: Peggy Hinson, Kenwood Middle School

• 3rd: Raegan Settle, Murray Middle School

• 4th: Sergio Zunu, Kenwood Middle School

World History, High School

• 1st: M. Nelson Denman, Henry County High School

• 2nd: Isaiah Feliciana, Henry County High School

• 3rd: Caleb Fields, Fulton County High School

• 4th: Daniel Green, Henry County High School

World History, Middle School

• 1st: Ethan Brown, Heath Middle School

• 2nd: Ethan Cain, Calloway County Middle School

• 3rd: Jeremiah Hudson, Christian Fellowship School

• 4th: Gracie Hayden, Reidland Middle School

Photo: More than 360 middle and high school students across the region visited Murray State University to compete in the annual West Kentucky History Day academic competition on March 7.

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