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story.lead_photo.caption Lauren Allred, Jalyn Golette, Vanessa Perez, Madison Kennemore, Valeria Perez, and Dr. Emily Cutrer, Texas A&M University-Texarkana President, participated in the university's second annual regional History Day competition on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, on campus. (Submitted photo)

Area students in sixth through eighth grades competed in the Second Annual Regional History Day hosted by Texas A&M University on Friday.

Students competing were from Texarkana area and Marshall schools.

The event was a success.

"Unlike last year, these students already went through local competitions at their schools, so the level of competition was heightened," said Dr. Craig Nakashian, associate professor of history at A&M-Texarkana and event organizer.

"As before, though, History Day is a fun, hands-on way for students to use their creativity to identify, analyze and explain an important event in the past, which is the core mission of studying history."

The top two entries for every category advance to the state competition.

The first-place winners in the group exhibit category were Texas Middle School's Lauren Allred, Jalyn Golette, Vanessa Perez, Madison Kennemore and Valeria Perez. Their presentation was on the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps.

More than 150,000 American women served in the Corps during World War II.

They were the first women other than nurses to serve within the ranks of the United States Army.

Among students competing in the junior division's group exhibit were Marshall Junior High School's Daniella Contreras, McKenzie Epps and Carol Ann Williams.

Their exhibit featured Walter E. Riptoe, one of the first African-American members of the Texas Senate.

He was also a carpenter, teacher, religious leader and Civil Rights activist.

Judges were A&M-Texarkana faculty, staff, students and alumni. Judges included noted Civil War historian Dr. Tom Cutrer and Teri Stover, John F. Moss Library director.

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