By BELLA HEILNER
For many years Fayette and other schools in Fulton County celebrated History Day—an event that drew students from throughout the county to come together and compete for awards through topics they researched.
Eventually, the event was named after Fayette attorney James Ian Marlatt, an ardent supporter of the event and a member of the Fulton County Board of Education.
History Day continued for a few years after Marlatt’s death, but three years ago Jim’s widow, Ruth, helped organize an event with some semblance to History Day.
Fayette students are now involved in a Law Day program, such as last year’s history tour through Pleasant View Union Cemetery to learn of Fayette’s role in the Civil War.
This year’s program takes different twist with a talk by a former ambassador to Rwanda, Dr. David Rawson. In addition, students from three area communities are helping to organize the event and each will give a short talk related to the program.
Bella Heilner, a homeschooled student who is representing Morenci, works as a journalist apprentice at the State Line Observer. She will kick off the program by talking about the Bean Creek Valley that many of us call home.
She will explain how geology and natural resources have shaped local history. Although it’s an area with a plentiful water supply, that supply may be at risk. Heilner will note that it’s crucial for residents to remain aware and work to preserve our natural resources.
Ellen Baker is a senior at Fayette High School and a member of the National Honor Society. She will speak about the Steinem-Nyce series, which was created to help students understand the importance of civic engagement and civil discussions. The series was named after Dr. Robert Nyce and Bill Steinem who were both seen as very influential and socially progressive individuals in Fayette, despite possessing differing political viewpoints.
The series has been in existence for four years. Two years ago, a play was presented based on the political views and differences of Theodore Roosevelt and Mark Twain.
Lacotus Spiess-Ebersole is a senior at Wauseon High School. He was a part of an awarding-winning speech team and is no stranger to the stage. On Law Day, he will talk about Rwanda and the genocide that occurred there when Dr. Rawson served as U.S. Ambassador.
After years of traveling and working abroad, the Ambassador came back to his roots and now resides in the Bean Creek Valley area.
Fayette’s Law Day observance begins at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, May 1, with a luncheon with the Ambassador at the Fayette Opera House. Area students interested in law will attend with a sponsoring attorney, and several educators will also join in.
Immediately after the meal, the program will begin with talks by the three students. Dr. Rawson will follow with his presentation, “The Importance of the Rule of Law.”