Monday, June 21, 2021
June 21, 2021

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Battle Ground student scores silver at National History Day finals

The Columbian

BATTLE GROUND — Pleasant Valley Middle School eighth-grader Colton McCall received a silver medal and $500 prize at National History Day finals, placing second among 100 national finalists. He competed in the Junior Individual Performance category. McCall’s presentation, “Breaking Barriers to Restore 1855 Fishing Rights,” showed how the 1855 Yakama Treaty guaranteed the Yakama, Warm Springs, Umatilla, and Nez Perce tribes land and fishing rights. McCall interviewed tribal members and staff at the main office of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. “Colton’s project did well because he gathered primary sources to support his thesis and wove a clear narrative aligned to the theme,” said Rene Soohoo, history teacher at Pleasant Valley Middle School. “To have achieved so much success against such strong competition is truly something to be proud of.” National History Day encourages students to become historians by developing research, analysis, presentation and social skills. This year’s theme was “Breaking Barriers in History.” More than half a million students in the U.S. participate each year. McCall was one of three Battle Ground Public Schools students to qualify for the National History Day finals. Reagan Lund, a ninth-grade student at Prairie High School competed in the senior division of the Individual Website category with his project “Japanese Americans Breaking Racial Barriers During World War II,” and Gabriel Vu, an eighth-grader at Pleasant Valley Middle School, competed in the junior division of the Individual Website category with his project “Agent Orange: Contaminating Americans and Vietnamese.”