Local Wins National History Fair

The Escambia County School Board breezed through its first regular meeting of the school year last night. Their was a presentation from the PTA, the recognition of a “Stellar Employee” and the designation of Drive Safely Around Our Children Week.

The designated Drive Safely week is scheduled for Aug. 26 through Sept. 1. The board passed a resolution recognizing school bus operators, citing an 83 percent drop in school bus-related traffic accidents over the past three years. There were 24 accidents during the 2009-2010 school year, compared to 4 last year.

Also during last night’s meeting, the school board recognized Nicholas Gupta, a Pensacola High School senior, as the National History Fair winner.

Gupta, who is in PHS’s I.B.  program, was one of 600,000 students to compete in local history fairs around the country. From that field, 2,800 were selected to complete in the National History Fair.

The student won the fair with his project “Out of the Closets and Into the Streets, The Stonewall Uprising of 1969.” The project dealt with the 1969 clash between police and members of the gay community in New York City. The uprising—or Stonewall riots—stemmed from a police raid on the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village.

Superintendent Malcolm Thomas and the school board congratulated Gupta on is accomplishment. They invited him up from for a round of handshakes, and to say a few words.

Gupta took the opportunity to thank the board for supporting history programs.

“It’s a really important subject,” he said, “and I think sometimes it’s left behind, with the science and the math.”