A team of students from Valley View High School earned a silver medal in the Senior Group Performance Category at the National History Day in College Park, Maryland on Thursday. The group performance by students Jade Moreno, Alondra Mendez-Acosta, Mark Valdez, Mitchell Calderilla, Ariana Bazile was titled A Conflict Concerning Unequal Rights Amongst Workers: The Disney Animators’ Strike.
National History Day was established in 1974 and seeks to improve the teaching and learning of history. More than a half-million students across the country and internationally participate at the local level of National History Day with about 3,000 advancing to the national level. The Valley View group placed second to a team from South Korea.
“The biggest components of our success, I feel, was our dedication to the project and our desire to win. It would have been so easy to just give up, because we were too stressed. However, we stuck through it and tried our very best,” said student Ariana Bazile, “I never could’ve imagined how successful we’d be. It feels like my group and I’s work has finally paid off.”
The performance chronicled the 1941 labor strike by the animators of Walt Disney Studios falling under the National History Day theme of Conflict and Compromise in History. The team immersed themselves in the story and portrayed characters from history complete with costumes, props and a small set.
“This team of students spent countless hours researching and rehearsing their historical performance and we could not be more proud them,” said Board of Education President Susan Smith.
“All of us at Moreno Valley Unified School District are proud of this amazing accomplishment,” said Superintendent Dr. Martinrex Kedziora. “The level of recognition they received demonstrates the excellence we have in all of our schools.”
Jeanine Schutze-Lopez coached the group. The District coordinators for National History Day are Autumn Earle-Rodriguez and Susan Young.