Cogan earns third place in state history competition

A special student at a private Weston school recently took home state honors. Grace Cogan, of Weston, took third place in the Junior Individual Performance competition at the Missouri State National History Day contest in Columbia April 26. Her finish qualifies her to be the alternate to the national finals of the National History Day competition in Washington in June. Cogan’s topic was “The WPA – Whose Rights and What are the Responsibilities?” in which she portrayed a Pack Horse Librarian from Eastern Kentucky during the Great Depression. As a sixth grader, she was the youngest finalist and was up against competitors who were all seventh and eighth graders. “Grace has been faced with many obstacles during her lifetime and books have been a constant source of comfort during difficult times,” said her mother, Kelly Cogan. “She shares a love of history with her father and her old soul yearns to learn and share historical facts with others. Her goal is to be a published historical author and to perform on the stage of "Newsies." She is a shining star in our lives and exemplifies the true meaning of spirited determination.” National History Day offers students from sixth through 12th grades the opportunity to advance their skills in historical research and interpretation through essays, documentaries, performances, websites and exhibits. Cogan’s teacher and History Day sponsor is Lennie Medcalf of Weston’s Deerfield Academy. Deerfield Academy is a private school where students get individualized attention and guidance. “Grace is a full time student and we have had the luxury of making her National History Day project a year long curriculum,” Medcalf said. “We have both learned so much this year about our system of government and Grace did a wonderful job in presenting the rights of the ordinary citizen in contrast to the responsibilities we all have in holding our government accountable.”