AP Lang Students Create Local Museum Exhibits


Photo by Elenna Mach

Junior Soroush Noktehdan, left, and junior Kushal Devkota, right, work together preparing their displays at the Beall-Dawson House. AP Lang students created the immigration displays in class in the second quarter.

Andrew Coulibaly, Opinion Managing Editor

Seventy-four students from English teacher Krista McKim’s Advanced Placement Language and Composition (AP Lang) course created their own museum exhibits called “Migrate With Us: Through the Stories of Those Living in MoCo,” displayed in the Beall-Dawson House Jan. 31.

Students began this project early in the second marking period and set up their exhibits at the Beall-Dawson House Jan. 25. There was a free reception for visitors Jan. 31, the opening night, but now there is a $5 entrance fee for visitors throughout February and March.

“Migrate With Us” is the first exhibit made by RHS students to be displayed in the Beall-Dawson House on West Montgomery Avenue. The exhibit highlights the unique stories of  people who immigrated to or from Montgomery County from either another county, state or nation.

The Beall-Dawson house is a historic building that operates as a museum run by the Montgomery County Historical Society.

Elizabeth Lay, the museum curator, advised students on their projects. Lay highlights the importance of the artwork that portraying many different immigration stories.

“I think the topic [immigration] is very timely and the student’s point of view is both vital and refreshing in its honesty and exuberance,” Lay said.

The project began at the beginning of second quarter and were first instructed to interview multiple people who immigrated to or from Montgomery County. Each class period has their own unique theme on how they present their stories.

“Each class is a little bit different, they all decided on the designs. They had to somehow portray immigration. So they had to interview someone from Montgomery County. We started working on it this [second quarter] we’ve been doing different parts,” Mckim said. “The students are in charge of designing the museum and they have been working with the curator there who has been giving feedback.”

Juniors Lisel Ament, Nicole Naray, Niko Saoutis, Layla Mcdonald and Gabby Togue gave a speech further explaining their work to an audience at the 12th Annual Montgomery County History Conference on the Montgomery College Germantown Campus Jan. 26.

As conference panelists, the students had the opportunity to further express their ideas by sharing life changing stories as explained through their art projects. Gabby Togue moved to Montgomery County with her family from Cameroon when she was ten years old.

“In my speech I focused on what was underneath the art piece, the real story. I explained why we moved and the challenges we faced when we first got here. I went into detail about the opportunity that this move has and continues to give me,” junior and conference panlist Togue said.  

Some students truly liked from working in a professional environment and enriching montgomery county’s community. Saoutis made an art piece on his grandmother who immigrated to the county from Greece in 1971.

“I’ve never produced a professional art piece before, it’s a really interesting experience; it’s like going to a workplace for the first time,” Saoutis said. “It broadened my horizons because I’ve never participated in something like this before, especially as a student, and I think it provided my classmates a similar experience.”