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Homer Intermediate School Student Wins State Archives Award

Friday, November 6, 2015

The New York State Archives and Archives Partnership Trust have selected Aaron Lener from Homer Intermediate School, Homer Central School District, as the recipient of the 2015 Laura and Robert Chodos Award for Excellence in Student Research Using Historical Records, Grades 4-5, for his entry “Francis Bicknell Carpenter: The Man Behind the Iconic Image of Lincoln.”   A certificate and a cash award were presented to Aaron at a luncheon ceremony at the Cultural Education Center in Albany, held recently.  His teacher, Laurie Leach, was also recognized.

Using records from the Homer Historical Society, Cortland County Historical Society and the Phillips Free Library, Aaron Lener researched and wrote about hometown artist Francis Carpenter. In his paper, Aaron tells the story of the relationship between Carpenter and President Abraham Lincoln. With Lincoln’s support, Carpenter painted The Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, which today hangs in the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. The judges commend Aaron for writing a thorough and interesting research paper, for incorporating local historical records into his project, and for his well-organized annotated bibliography.

The Student Research Awards are named for Board of Regents 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. The awards 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.

“Every year the State Archives invite students and educators from throughout the state to create projects that utilize primary source documents to explore New York’s past,” said Acting State Archivist Thomas J. Ruller.  “From hundreds of submissions, we select the very finest.  It is our hope that the enjoyment that these students and their teachers 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 takes place every October, during American Archives Month, and 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:

New York State Archives Partnership Trust Award:
New York State Canal Corporation

Lifetime Achievement Award for Advancing the Security of Archives in New York State:
Richard Strassberg (Albany County)

Annual Archives Award for Program Excellence in a Historical Records Repository:
SUNY Plattsburgh (Clinton County)

Annual Archives Award for Excellence in State Agency Records Management Program Development:
New York State Office of the Children and Family Services

William H. Kelly Annual Archives Award for Excellence in Local Government Archival Program Development:
City of Rochester (Monroe County)

Cheryl Steinbach Annual Archives Award for Excellence in Local Government Records Management:
The Town of Hamburg (Erie County)

Annual Archives Award for Excellence in Research Using the Holdings of the State Archives:
Russ Immarigeon (Columbia County)

Annual Archives Award for Student Research Using Historical Records Grade 4 & 5:
Aaron Lener, Homer Intermediate School, Homer Central School District; Teacher: Laurie Leach (Cortland County)

Annual Archives Award for Student Research Using Historical Records Grade 6-8:
Sahil Sangwan, P.J. Gelinas Junior High School, Three Village Central School District; Teacher: Nicole Connelly (Suffolk County)

Annual Archives Award for Student Research Using Historical Records Grade 9-12:
John Riley, Huntington H.S., Huntington Union Free School District; Teacher: Lauren Desiderio (Suffolk County)