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What History Means To Me

June 2024
1min read

Three years ago American Heritage inaugurated an annual contest, established in partnership with the textbook publisher Prentice Hall, in which students wrote essays on the theme WHAT HISTORY MEANS TO ME. This year, more than 5,000 essays came in to the Prentice Hall offices, where they were reviewed by the company’s social studies division. The finalists were sent on to American Heritage , where the editors chose two Grand Prize winners, one from middle school, one from high school. Their work appears in full on the following pages. We start out, however, with a brief anthology of excerpts from this year’s Honorable Mention winners.


Colin Brookes
Andrew Mellon Middle School, Mt. Lebanon, PA Sponsoring teacher: Catharine Shenefelt “History itself is a vast green land, painted together by golden deeds and heroic actions.”

Sarah Katie Thomas
George H. Moody Middle School, Richmond, VA Sponsoring teachers: Lesley Lanphear and Glenda Hite “History is a never-ending work of art and it is our job, yours and mine, to go out into the world and paint it some more.”

Daniel M. Yano
Friends School, Virginia Beach, VA Sponsoring teacher: Chris Jordan “To my Irish grandmother and to her parents, America was a land of opportunity, and all things American were great in her eyes.”

Alex Leamy
Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, Cincinnati, OH Sponsoring teacher: Kris Gilbert “We can all learn something from history.”

Alethia Miyake
Acaciawood School, Anaheim, CA Sponsoring teacher: Tony Espinosa “To me, history is like a person, teaching and impacting my character and life.”


Minov Arjamond
Ward Melville High School, Setauket, NY Sponsoring teacher: Richard Romero “History is the tale of the human experience; it is the record of tribulations and exaltations which have formed us all.”

Christopher Shuptrine
E. C. Glass High School, Lynchburg, VA Sponsoring teacher: Marie Waller “I see the world as a book. A book written by everyone.”

Ryan Kenneth Bullock
Long Beach High School, Long Beach, MS Sponsoring teacher: Keary E. Burger “Maybe history will still repeat itself, but if we study it, will we not be more prepared?”

Marissa Troiano
Lamar Consolidated High School, Rosenberg, TX Sponsoring teacher: Connie Aufdembrink “Without understanding of history, life loses some of its luster.”

Hana Mamont
Cypress High School, Cypress, CA Sponsoring teacher: Mr. Drummer “History is nothing less than the greatest teacher one can have.”

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