Social Studies Fair at St. Mary School

Students learn about and portray historical figures

By Peyton Neely The Marietta Times Riley Depuy, 11, dressed as Benjamin Franklin, talks with his friend Tommy Kerenyi, 12, who is dressed as Chesty Puller, during the Social Studies Fair at St. Mary School on Monday night.

Bill Gates, Princess Diana and even Vincent van Gogh visited St. Mary School on Monday for the school’s third annual Social Studies Fair. The fifth and sixth graders dressed in their best costumes for the event, sharing all the knowledge they learned about some important figures in history.

“Each of the students got to pick who they wanted to do a project on over Christmas break,” said Cathy Dunaway, fifth-grade teacher. “I told them to come back from break ready to research.”

Students have been working on their projects for two months. Anna Martin, 12, chose Charles Darwin and accessorized with a home-made beard of yarn and string.

“My family helped me pick him out,” she said. “I didn’t know anything about him but he sounded interesting. I learned he took a five-year boat trip to study evolution from island to island.”

Sixth-grader Riley Depuy, 11, dressed as Thomas Edison, wig and all.

“People told me he’s an amazing guy and well, he changed the world with his inventions,” said Depuy. “I also didn’t know he was a founding father.”

Tommy Kerenyi, 12, dressed as Chesty Puller, who was a decorated U.S. Marine.

“My dad was a Marine and Puller won the most medals in history,” he said. “This costume I’m wearing is actually from my dad. That’s why it’s big on me.”

Traci Perry, 46, of Marietta, stood next to her daughter Taylor, 11, who was dressed as Princess Diana in her mom’s old wedding dress.

“It was fun letting her try on my dresses to find one,” said Traci. “It’s fun having it see the light of day 20 years later.”

Taylor said she picked Princess Diana because she wanted to learn about all the charity work she did.

“I can’t believe how much she helped people. It was incredible,” she said.

Some students even picked people that are somewhat unknown. Sixth-grader Elizabeth Haller, 11, picked Eileen Nearne, who was a spy during World War II.

“She even worked in secret operations,” she said. “I always liked the World War II era and I found her. Nobody knew about her so I get to teach people about her.”

Her mother, Becky Haller, 41, of Marietta, said she’s proud her daughter did so much work for this project.

“I bought the costume on Amazon but she really did everything,” she said. “It’s really good that they’re learning things while they’re researching. They all do an excellent job because this was something they wanted to do and something they got to choose to do.”

At a glance

¯ Fifth and sixth graders of St. Mary School held their Social Studies Fair on Monday.

¯ Students dressed as historical figures such as Thomas Edison, Martin Luther King Jr. and even Elizabeth.

¯ This is the third year they’ve done this project.

¯ Preparations for this project began right after Christmas break.

Source: Fifth-grade teacher Cathy Dunaway.