Herricks recognizes students for film about Warsaw Ghetto

The Island Now
The Herricks Board of Education recognized Herrick High School’s students for their collaborative award-winning documentary “The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising: Courage Knows No Number,” last Thursday. (Photo by Demi Guo)

By Demi Guo

The Herricks Board of Education recognized four Herrick High School’s students for their award-winning documentary on the Warsaw Ghetto last Thursday.

Students Aarya Agarwal, Abhinav Goyal, Aditya Lodha, and Prameet Shah spent eight months producing “The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising: Courage Knows No Number,” a detailing of Poland’s famed rebellion against the Nazi occupation.

They were granted the 2019 Chodos Family Fund 2nd Place Award for Excellence in Student Research Using Historical Records by the New York State Archives and Archives Partnership Trust.

They also returned from an all-expense-paid trip to Poland this summer, where they were recognized by the Polish History Film Institute.

Goyal and Shah said that they were assigned a theme about both tragedy and triumph for National History day. “We looked at the Holocaust first,” Shah said. “There are lots of tragic stories. This is the first we found that shows resistance.”

Their trip included a visit to the Warsaw ghetto. “We teach them that history is all our stories,” their teacher and History Day adviser Melissa Jacobs said.

The documentary includes a section about the Jewish Fighting Organization leader, Mordechai Anielewicz. To this day, he is a historical figure who represents Jewish resistance during the Holocaust. Research about him and other topics in the film took about 1000 pages of bibliography, Jacobs said.

Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Elizabeth Guercin highlighted a bump up in Herrick High School students with disabilities’ graduation rates. In 2019, the rate was 87 percent. Those who graduated with a Regents diploma with advanced designation increased from last year’s 31 percent to 33.4 percent, while those with a Regents diploma increased from 48.8 to 53.33 percent.

Vice President Gary Gonzalez from Park East Construction said that plans for a new Herricks Middle School fitness center is anticipating state approval by Dec. 2. It would then be open for bidding from Dec. 17 to the end of Jan. 2020, with awards being handed out on Feb. 13. Construction would be completed in 12 months, from May 5, 2020, to June 3, 2021.

He said they were also awaiting approval for plans for a bus loop by the school, which would come in by March 16, 2020. The bidding period would take place in late March, with awards in April, he said. Construction would begin after school is out for summer break, on June 27, and completed by the end of August.


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