Students breathe life into historical heroes

Heroes come in many forms. For Hannah Putnam, it's the form of a kiss -- the little chocolate kind.

"I think Milton Hershey contributed a lot to the country," said Putnam, 13. "Without chocolate, you'd have to eat all those healthy foods and many people have a sweet tooth."

Seventh-grade students in Kara Evans' history class at St. Teresa of Avila School researched influential historical figures then presented their findings to the rest of the school last week.

For many of the students, the selection was personal with historical figures ranging from Walt Disney to Harry Houdini to Gen. George Patton.

"Allowing them to pick someone they were interested in really sparked their curiosity and their creativity," Evans said. "These guys always blow me away. I set an expectation and they raise the bar."

Bryce Evans, 13, dressed in a baseball uniform to represent Babe Ruth.

"He has had great influence on me for being the greatest baseball player," Evans explained. "It's encouraged me to become a better baseball player.

Since he's hit a lot of home runs, it's encouraged me to try my best."

Janell Mahoney also learned from her project on Eileen Collins, the first woman commander in space.

"You should always have courage and you should believe in yourself," she said. "She expanded the borders for women. We are all the same and we deserve the same rights."

Cloe Westergard, 13, turned to television for her inspiration.

"I've always liked Lucille Ball. She's really funny," Cloe said. "I admired her acting and her comedy so I wanted to know more about her. She revolutionized acting for women."

Students worked on their projects for about a month before donning the appropriate costumes and presenting their work to schoolmates.

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