Steel Valley students recognized for their outstanding contributions to the first annual BHF Essay Contest.

by Apr 16, 2018History, Student Participation

Front Row, Left to Right: Students A’Ja Morant, Brooke Batyi, Paige Mooney, Ricci Wright. Back Row, Left to Right: BHF Members Norm Koehler, Millie Beik, Rosemary Trump, Joel Sabadasz

Seniors Brooke Batyi, Ricci Wright, Paige Mooney, and eighth grader A’Ja Morant received cash prizes for writing about local markers of historical significance, including the Homestead Steel Strike of 1892, the Great Steel Strike of 1919, the Carnegie Library of Homestead, and the Edgar Thomson U.S. Steel Plant. “I’m so proud of the hard work and dedication of our student writers,” said Dr. Lisa Duval, high school principal. “The collaboration between Steel Valley and the BHF is one that is rich in historical significance and beneficial to our students. I’m grateful that history is coming alive in such an advantageous way.”

The purpose of the essay contest is to highlight the labor history of the Monongahela Valley. BHF Board member Joel Sabadasz stated, “we seek to draw on the expertise of Steel Valley’s faculty to help develop the research and writing skills of contest participants in order to show how the region’s industrial workers significantly influenced the historical development of the nation. The contest also serves as vehicle by which the history of workers in the Mon-Valley remains alive.”

While many students wrote essays and researched local markers, cash prizes were awarded to the top three high school entries and the top middle school entry. The
foundation also gifted funds to the middle school and the high school to encourage teachers and students to find ways to make history come alive. All of the entries were read and evaluated by a panel of six history enthusiasts. The students were honored at a ceremony on April 5. Representatives in attendance from the Battle of Homestead Foundation included Joel Sabadasz, Norm Koehler, Rosemary Trump, and Millie Beik.

John Haer, president of the Battle of Homestead Foundation said, “The Battle of Homestead Foundation is pleased to partner with the students, faculty, and administration of Steel Valley School District to sponsor and encourage the study and celebration of the rich, turbulent, and remarkable industrial and social heritage of our region. We congratulate the essay contest winners, and invite all students and their families to attend our 2018 programs and events at the historic Pump House.

Here are their winning essays:

Brooke Batyi

HS-Brooke Batyi


Ricci Wright

HS-Ricci Wright


Paige Mooney

HS-Paige Mooney


A’Ja Morant

MS-A'Ja Morant


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