This was my first year in the past twelve years NOT to coordinate Tulare County’s History Day event. The job now falls on my dear friend, Joy Soares, who took my place as the History Consultant at the County Office. She has enough energy and ideas for three people, and indeed more than three people kept very busy bringing this exciting day to fruition.
My job in all of this was to represent two volunteer organizations, San Joaquin Valley Council for the Social Studies (SJVCSS), and Tulare County Historical Society (TCHS). Both organizations had booths, and both gave scholarships to students. This was the first year we named any of the donations from these organizations.
Two individuals from TCHS were especially instrumental in bringing TCHS and History Day together, Stan Barnes and Madeline Franz. When I first started coordinating History Day, the Fresno County Historical Society actively supported the Fresno County event, and I didn’t even know who the Tulare County Historical Society was or how to find them. Then Sharon Doughty created a website, and I made a phone call. That next year Madeline Franz judged for our event. The next year she brought friends, Don MacMillian, Terry Ommen, and Stan Barnes.
Stan was particularly taken with the project, and insisted that the Society donate money as long as it didn’t get swallowed in a “black hole.” The society also contributed a large amount to a group of students from Kingsburg, CA who were going to National History Day in Washington, D.C. What an opportunity for students who had never been out of Tulare County! TCHS bought tee shirts one year so that when our students went to state they all dressed alike one night and really stood out in the crowd of thousands of students. This year was the first year that the Society specified scholarship amounts, and named the scholarships. Unfortunately, Stan Barnes passed away just a few weeks ago, so did not see what the scholarship named for him will do for students. His daughter attended the awards ceremony.
Madeline also participated in the awards ceremony, bringing her family with her. TCHS President, Jill Brown presented both awards.
SJVCSS is the local affiliate council of the California Council for the Social Studies (CCSS) It is a professional organization for social studies teachers, administrators, and professors, and really is NON-profit. Each year since I started as coordinator the organization gave $50 to History Day, and I used it to purchase things we needed for the event. This year we upped it to $100 and created an Exhibit Scholarship in the name of Marvin Awbrey, Father of History Day. Marvin is from Fresno County, just north of us. He IS the Father of History Day in California, the man who brought it to Fresno County, then the state. He also served as the judge captain of the Exhibits Category for many years. At the awards ceremony yesterday, I made a presentation speech, and Marvin gave the scholarship to a deserving exhibit designer, Mr. Wilson.
I will write a more professional article that has student names and a little less silliness for the Los Tulares, the TCHS quarterly magazine available to members. My blogging friends have to put up with all my foibles, bad photography, and antics. It is SO fun to be retired and be able to be silly. There is something to be said for that second childhood!
Here are some other photos if you are a parent or an interested bystander that just loves HD.