Rockland County High School Local History Conference brings students together for a day of history

Spring Valley History Honor Students capture the best presentation award at the Rockland County High School Local History Conference sponsored by the Historical Society of Rockland County.  Photo Credit:  Dorice Madronero
Spring Valley History Honor Students capture the best presentation award at the Rockland County High School Local History Conference sponsored by the Historical Society of Rockland County. Photo Credit: Dorice Madronero

The Historical Society of Rockland County (HSRC) hosted a High School History Conference on April 9,2013. This day-long gathering was held at the Comfort Inn in Nanuet and brought together high school history honor students, their advisors and the Social Studies Chairpersons from all of the Rockland County High Schools. Craig Long (County Historian), County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef, District Attorney Tom Zugibe and Senator David Carlucci addressed invited guests.

The Keynote Speaker was Linda Zimmermann, author of “Rockland County: A Century of History.” Ms. Zimmermann concluded her thought provoking and charismatic remarks with the following takeaway, “HISTORY = YOU + TIME.”

“We are delighted to have organized an event which offered a time and place for our County’s high school students and their instructors/advisors to share ideas with one another,” noted Larry Singer, event co-chairman and Historical Society Trustee.

In addition to addresses from historians and dignitaries, the students prepared short presentations for their peers about historic places in their towns/villages. These impressive and varied presentations included photo montages, videos and even a short play. The outstanding presentation award went to Spring Valley High School. Also, at the event, the HSRC provided ideas about opportunities for community service for the students in the various geographic areas of Rockland County that relate to history. Municipal Historians and local historic sites were invited to assist in suggesting these community service opportunities.

After the students’ presentations, Catherine Quinn, former HSRC Trustee noted, “Today was perhaps the one single day in my six years as a Trustee of the HSRC that makes me MOST glad to be a member and former trustee of this organization. Today I saw the possibility of new generation that can take on the mantle. It was inspiring to listen to these high school students; we could hear their enthusiasm and passion as they described what they uncovered about the history of own neighborhoods.” In his closing remarks, County Historian Craig Long said, “After being here today, I’m stoked. You have inspired me and given me great ideas. When I come back here next year I hope I will have implemented the things you suggested to me today.”

Mr. Singer planned this event with the help of William Sherwood – trustee, HSRC, Kevin Metcalf – NRHS Social Studies coordinator and Steve Shepardson – advisor of the NRHS Social Studies Honor Society. Participating schools in the conference were Albertus Magnus, Clarkstown North, Clarkstown South, Nanuet, North Rockland, Pearl River, Ramapo, Spring Valley, Suffern, Tappan Zee. For more information about the High School History Conference visit www.RocklandHistory.org or call 845-634-9629.