T.C. Williams High School senior Taj Ranna has been selected as one of five first-place winners in the inaugural White House at Bat Challenge, a competition for students in grades 9 through 12 created by the White House Historical Association and the Washington Nationals.
The challenge asked students to submit a plan for a documentary that addresses an important presidential decision made by one of the five permanent Washington Nationals Racing Presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodor Roosevelt or William Howard Taft.
“It was part of an effort to teach and tell the stories of White House history,” said Stewart D. McLaurin, White House Historical Association President.
Ranna’s storyboard is centered around a decision made by William Howard Taft to sign Proclamation 1225, which established toll rates on the Panama Canal.
Ranna will have the opportunity to work closely with professional educators, historians, and media producers to transform the story board in to a 50-second short film that will premiere before the baseball game at Nationals Park on May 27. In addition, Taj and social studies teacher Molly Freitag (2016 ACPS Teacher of the Year) have been invited to a celebratory reception honoring the top-placing students in early May, where each winning student will be presented with a $1,000 prize.
I’m incredibly proud of Taj and all of my students who participated in the White House at Bat Competition. I was thrilled for Taj‘s success because he always works so hard to present his best work, and now he is being rewarded outside of the classroom for it. Taj‘s analysis of Taft’s work with the Panama Canal through Proclamation 1225 was excellent, and I can’t wait to see how the Nationals transform his work into a video,” said Molly Freitag.