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Indianapolis Public Schools is proud to have a
representative at the National History Day competition in our nation’s capital!
Arsenal Technical High School junior Jala P. placed first in the state
competition with a moving performance inspired by the historic Loving v.
Virginia
court case on marriage rights; now she’s taking this inspiring
project to Washington, D.C.!

Jala’s path to nationals began in October, when
her history teacher Troy Hammon teamed up with the Indiana Historical Society
to give students the opportunity to compete in Indiana’s National History Day
competition. Centered on the theme of “Leadership and Legacy,” students were
asked to present their research through their choice of original papers,
websites, exhibits, performances or documentaries. Mr. Hammon’s students put in
countless hours creating their projects with the assistance of many members of
our community.

“Along the way we enlisted the aid of our media
specialist Mr. Gregg Nowling,” Hammon said. “Many parents, teachers,
university experts and community experts contributed to finding primary sources
and guiding the development of exhibits and performances.”

Our all-star said she learned about much more
than the famous Supreme Court case through this process.

“I chose the Loving v. Virginia case and
the individual performance category because I am a confident, strong speaker
and I wanted a challenge,” Jala said. “The Lovings were an interracial couple
that got married and were arrested since it was against the law for a white
person to marry outside of their race in Virginia in the 1960s. I had to figure
out some way to get the story of two people into my one-person performance in a
sensible way. This competition has taught me the importance of deep
researching. I have learned that a lot of resources are necessary to thoroughly
research a topic. Time management is also more important to me now.”

We wish Jala the best of luck as she takes her
performance to Washington, D.C. this weekend! You can check out a video of
Jala’s research in action here.