Ironton’s history alive and well in 2023

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Local student Fuhr receives recognition at competition

Mrs. Rhonda Hacker, a teacher at Rock Hill Middle School, has been participating in Ohio History Day since taking her current position as eighth grade social studies teacher in August

2015. This year, at the state competition, student Isaiah Fuhr, son of Joseph and Rachel Fuhr, of Kitts Hill, received honorable mention for his project on the iron furnaces of Lawrence County and the abolitionist movement, emphasizing the importance of John Campbell and Nannie Kelly Wright. 

Email newsletter signup

As part of Isaiah’s research, he met with the Lawrence County Museum organizers and was invited back to display his exhibit at the museum. 

His teacher, along with principal Jason Owens, and his parents are very proud of all the hard work he has put into his project.

The history fair allows students the opportunity to research primary and secondary sources, develop a thesis, create a process paper, understand how to annotate a bibliography, and to be interviewed by multiple judges at the regional and state levels. 

Students get to choose multiple ways in which to present their work such as exhibits, documentaries, web pages, research papers and performances.

This allows students with different talents to present their projects in various ways.

The last few years have been challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the state meet cancelled in 2019 and being held virtually in 2020 and 2021. 

The pandemic has also had an impact on student interest and motivation, but Hacker said she hopes to see this downward trend decrease as time goes on. 

History fair work is done outside the regular classroom curriculum and involves as much reading and research as a student is willing to put in. 

Time is spent after school, during lunch, etc. when time allows for her to assist her students.

Hacker has had many students participate  over the past several years and said she has fond memories of them and all their efforts. 

She remembers her very first student who qualified for the state competition, Adam Fleeman, who was an avid history enthusiast. 

She recalls, as well, the partner duo, Kaley Fetty and Adara Barnette, and individual participant, Brianna Imes, all of whom participated for several years. 

She works with former eighth grade students who want to continue into high school. 

She is most excited to have students who share her love of history.

Since participating in Ohio History Day, Rock Hill has always had students qualify for the state meet each year. 

It is held every year at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware. 

The best of the best were chosen from 10 regions to advance to the state competition. 

The competition at the state level is quite competitive, and only two entries from each of the categories from all 10 regions combined get to move on to the National History Day Competition held near Washington, D.C.

Fuhr presented his project on May 21 at the Lawrence County Museum, where it was left on display. 

He is training as a docent at the museum.