October 30, 2013

Tottenville High School Students Win State Archives Award

Albany, NY -- The New York State Archives and Archives Partnership Trust have selected Ana Luiza Teodoro and Steven Faiella from Tottenville High School as the recipients of the 2013 Laura and Robert Chodos Award for Excellence in Student Research Using Historical Records, Grades 9-12, for their entry “The Snee Family of Heroes: To Commemorate the Sacrifice of Three Members of the Snee Family Who Died While Serving in WWII.”  

A certificate and cash gift was presented to the students at a luncheon ceremony at the Cultural Education Center in Albany, held recently.  Their teacher, Joanne Nolemi, was also recognized.

Using historical records from the Snee Archives in Our Lady Help of Christians School, the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences, the Tottenville Historical Society, and the Snee family, the students researched three members of the Snee family, William, Thomas and Martin, who died while serving in World War II.  The students examined newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, military documents, photographs, yearbooks, census records, war diaries, and a memorial poem to learn about the home life and military life of the two brothers and their cousin, who were all raised in the same household.  Using these varied historical resources, the students were able to see the effect of a world war on a local community. Their research enabled the students to become engaged with and make a personal connection with the Snee family and the events of World War II.  The judges were impressed with the students’ ability to locate and analyze historical records, their efforts to connect with the Snee family, and their desire to commemorate the heroism of the three soldiers by proposing that a historic marker be erected at the Snee family home in the Tottenville section of Staten Island. 

The Student Research Awards are named for Regent Emerita Laura Chodos and her late husband, Dr. Robert Chodos, who created an endowment to encourage students to explore the wealth of historical records in New York State. The awards are presented annually to a student, or group of students, in New York State who have made outstanding use of historical records in their research. They recognize student work for demonstrating excellence based on specific criteria: using a variety of historical records, drawing on information from those records, and interpreting and integrating that information with creativity and imagination.

“We are very pleased to recognize the winning students and their teachers from Walden Elementary School, Farnsworth Middle School, and Tottenville High School for their outstanding projects which earned them top honors in the New York State Archives’ annual student research awards contest,” said State Archivist Christine Ward.  “Each year, we invite students and educators from throughout the state to conceive projects which utilize primary source documents to explore New York’s glorious past.  From hundreds of submissions, we select the very finest.  It is our hope that the enjoyment that these young people and their mentors derived in putting together these award winning efforts will make history relevant for them in the near future and throughout their academic careers."

The annual Archives Awards program recognizes outstanding efforts in archives and records management work in New York State by a broad range of individuals and organizations.  A complete list of this year’s award recipients follows:

Cheryl Steinbach Annual Archives Award for Excellence in Local Government Records Management
Orange-Ulster BOCES (Orange County)

William H. Kelly Annual Archives Award for Excellence in Local Government Archival Program Development
Montgomery County

Excellence in State Agency Records Management Program Development
New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities

Bruce W. Dearstyne Annual Archives Award for Excellence in the Educational Use of Historical Records
Dr. Kristi Fragnoli, Assistant Professor of Education, The College of St. Rose (Albany County)

Excellence in the Educational Use of Local Government Records by a Local Government
Holland Patent Teaching and Learning Center and the Holland Patent Central School District (Oneida County)

Excellence in Research Using the Holdings of the State Archives
Dr. Carolyn Strange, Australian National University

Laura and Robert Chodos Award for Excellence in Student Research Using Historical Records, Grades 9-12
Ana Luiza Teodoro and Steven Faiella; Tottenville High School, New York City Department of Education; Teacher: Joanne Nolemi (Richmond County)

Laura and Robert Chodos Award for Excellence in Student Research Using Historical Records, Grades 6-8
Conor Quinn; Farnsworth Middle School, Guilderland Central Schools; Teacher: Deborah Escobar (Albany County)

Laura and Robert Chodos Award for Excellence in Student Research Using Historical Records, Grades 4-5
Jillian Landsman, Jaeden Tice, Thomas Grismer, Ethan Metzger, Hannah Eavans, Jana Elkashef, Maeve Harkin, Nicole Hammond, Randy Rosario; Walden Elementary School, Valley Central School District; Teacher: Nancy Phelps (Orange County)

For More Information, Contact:
Emily Allen (518) 473-0130 or
Antonia Valentine (518) 474-1201