SAN GABRIEL, CA – Six Del Mar High School continuation students will represent San Gabriel Unified School District in National History Day-California, a state competition that challenges students to examine history through extensive original research and creatively express their findings before a panel of historians and educators.

Del Mar students Christina Calderon, Michelle Vega, Sergio Landeros, Jio Blanco, Ciara Robledo and Kenneth French will compete in the state contest on May 6 and 7 at William Jessup University in Northern California.

History Day events challenge elementary- through high-school students to create individual and group research projects related to the 2016-17 theme, “Taking a Stand in History.” Projects are submitted as performances, research papers, websites, exhibits or documentary films.

Del Mar students qualified for the state competition after being named finalists at the History Day L.A. contest on March 25 at Azusa Pacific University. Del Mar High was the only continuation school to compete.

“This competition gives us the confidence as a continuation school and as students to take on anything,” said Landeros, who took first in the senior group performance category with Blanco. “It’s encouraging to know we can do well in a competition that many other schools are afraid of because it requires so much work.”

Del Mar High students presented two group performances, one solo performance, one documentary film and one research paper, all of which presented different perspectives on the 1968 East L.A. school walkouts.

“National History Day encourages students who may have never received academic recognition before to put their nose to the grindstone and produce amazing results,” Del Mar Principal Lon Sellers said. “This is a very taxing program, but the students who participate realize that they can achieve great heights if they are willing to put in the hard work and challenge themselves.”

Sellers also said students are encouraged by the improvement upon last year’s results, when Del Mar sent three students to the state competition; school leaders expect participation to increase further next year.

“We commend our Del Mar High students for taking on the challenges of History Day L.A. and congratulate them on their positive results,” SGUSD Superintendent John Pappalardo said. “The hard work these students demonstrated in this competition will lay a strong foundation for personal, academic and professional success in the future.”

Winners from the state contest will advance to represent California at the National History Day competition, to be held in June at the University of Maryland, College Park.


033017_SANGAB_HISTORYDAY1: Del Mar High School will send six students to the National History Day-California contest after strong performances at the county-level competition. Del Mar students received top scores for the research paper and individual and group performances they presented, which provided perspectives on the 1968 East L.A. school walkouts.

033017_SANGAB_HISTORYDAY2: Del Mar High School students Sergio Landeros and Jio Blanco took first place in the senior group performance category at History Day L.A. on March 25. Landeros and Blanco wrote and performed a passionate retelling of the 1968 East L.A. school walkouts, which earned them an invitation to the state competition in May.