DAR winners named
Published 9:47 pm Friday, May 8, 2015
Participation was strong this year among Suffolk students in the Daughters of the American Revolution American History Essay contest, says Christine Young, American History Committee Chairman with the local Constantia Chapter.
Fifth- through eighth-graders wrote about Ellis Island, while high school students penned essays on the voyage of Christopher Columbus.
“This year we had really good participation, especially from the public schools, which a lot of the time we don’t see,” Young said.
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For the younger students, Jacob Conrod of Nansemond-Suffolk Academy was the seventh-grade chapter winner and also the district winner.
NSA’s Domino Noell Borrell and Elephant’s Fork Elementary School’s Rana E. Ceribasi were the sixth- and fifth-grade chapter winners, respectively.
Invited to imagine he was describing the experience to a cousin after traveling through Ellis Island in 1892, Conrod said he applied what he’d learned at school about immigration.
“I had to do a little work, but it came pretty easy,” he said.
At the high-school level, Nansemond River High School junior Adriece L. Sharpe also won for the local chapter and the district, which covers Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Isle of Wight-Smithfield, the lower Eastern Shore and the Peninsula including Yorktown and Williamsburg.
Entrants had to imagine they’d been chosen to join Christopher Columbus’ crew sailing for the New World, and describe their thoughts and feelings, discuss their survival skills and explain their motivation.
Sharpe said his history teacher had assigned the essay as a class project, and he just tried to do his best.
“Basically, I tried to go from the perspective of someone in jail at the time,” he said.
“I just said I was someone looking for a new opportunity in a new country.”
Explaining the perspective he chose to write from, Sharpe said he found it interesting that some crewmembers were not wealthy but rather down and out and looking turn things around.
“They were looking for betterment, not just wealth,” he said.
The contest promotes knowledge of American history and patriotism, Young said.
“We haven’t had a state winner in a while, but we are hopeful of that,” she said.