“Each year, I recruit and register about 150 judges, run a short training session the weekend of the event and oversee the quality and consistency of the judging,” Dr. William Bush, school head for the School of Arts and Sciences, wrote in an email. Bush became the judging coordinator for the regional event in 2009.
“It is a wonderful event and very meaningful to the students, parents and teachers who participate in it,” Bush wrote.
Bush, who joined the steering committee for SARHD in 2008, said that besides the competition’s standard categories, there are also awards for several special categories, including a Texas A&M-San Antonio Award for Best Entry in Local History.
Students participating in the event prepare research projects in the form of essays, documentaries, performances, exhibits or interpretive websites in the junior or senior divisions.
Mike Persyn, an intern with the history program who is assisting Bush with this year’s competition, responded through email that “judging is done in groups, so students who are not a history major or minor should not worry about their level of expertise.”
“Participation at this event can be an excellent means of networking with local faculty, if one is considering teaching or continuing on to graduate school,” Persyn said. “It also doesn’t look too bad on a resume.”
At 5 p.m. Feb. 24 judges will meet at Judson High School before the competition for dinner and orientation. At 8 a.m. Feb. 25 they will gather for breakfast and another orientation session before moving on to to the final round.
“One thing that’s nice is that local culinary students provide a dinner for the Friday evening event and a breakfast for the Saturday morning event,” Persyn said.
He added that sometimes instructors offer extra credit for volunteering, joking that “How many extra credit opportunities feed you?”
Annually, students nationwide in grades 6-12 take part in National History Day. According to their website, the goal of this event is to provide students with a learning experience that challenges them to interpret history through the aid of special projects which develop their research, thinking and communication skills.
Anyone interested in judging should contact Persyn at email@example.com before Feb. 13 letting him know the preferences for which day, division and category.
For more information about the regional competition contact Bush at firstname.lastname@example.org or 210.784.2200.