South Orangetown Central School District

Six Tappan Zee High School students, along with Social Studies Team Leader Scott Silver and teacher Martin Patmos, attended the 7th Annual John T. and Mary A. Grant Rockland County High School History Conference at St. Thomas Aquinas College on March 12. Students from area high schools present original local history research at the day-long event, which is sponsored by the Historical Society of Rockland County.

This year’s theme focused on the impact of immigration on Rockland County. The TZHS team interviewed Italian, Korean and German immigrants about their experience coming to the U.S. Senior Zoe B. noted that she appreciated hearing different perspectives from students from other high schools. Jacob G., a junior, echoed the sentiment and was moved by two students who spoke about their own immigration to the U.S. “They expressed that the American Dream is very much alive for them and they have a lot of hope.”

The TZHS students were surprised to discover how much ethnic, cultural and religious diversity exists in the county, and even our school district community. “The county is becoming more and more diverse,” said junior Sophia P. “We’re looking closer and seeing all the different churches, restaurants and businesses around us.”

“After attending for the last seven years, I continue to be exposed to surprising revelations and historical details that turn up everywhere around us on a daily basis. I find it is so valuable for the students to be exposed to these accounts and then to become the vehicles through which the history stays alive,” said Mr. Silver.

Congratulations to the TZHS conference participants on their presentation: sophomores Parker S. and Julia W., juniors Sophia P. and Jacob G, and seniors Quinn G. and Zoe B.

Group of students presenting slideshow