A 64-page research paper written by Victoria Walton, Hyde Park, a senior at The Summit Country Day School, will be published in the fall issue of the Concord Review.
Victoria’s paper is about Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, a World War II German army officer and resistance leader whose failed attempt to assassinate Adolph Hitler came to be known as the “20 July plot” or Operation Valkyrie.
The Concord Review is a national quarterly which champions high school research writing. Being selected for publication is competitive. It has been said that it is harder to get published in the Concord Review than to gain admission to Harvard University.
Victoria began her research on von Stauffenberg as part of her sophomore writing requirement in Modern World History, taught by social studies teacher Jeff Stayton, an award-winning Holocaust educator and board member of the Center For Holocaust and Humanity Education. In her junior year, Victoria had an Independent Study course on the German military resistance to Hitler and the Nazi regime during World War II. In this class, she was mentored by Stayton and social studies teacher Kelly Cronin, who has served as a writing coach for other students who have been published in the Concord Review.
As Victoria immersed herself in research, she wanted to obtain additional primary source material that described the events leading up to the coup attempt. A primary source is an original source of information created at the time under study. So she applied for a researcher’s card at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C., which gave her access to partial transcripts of the trials of the 20 July resistance members. While in Washington, she also spent two days at the United States Holocaust Museum where she was granted a researcher’s card that gave her access to audio and video statements of people associated with the 20 July plot.
“Victoria did not simply do the typical independent study,” Ms. Cronin said. “Going to work in an archive is a level of research typically done only when students reach graduate school. Her enthusiasm for her topic and her willingness to keep digging for more and more information truly reflect the Summit motto: Aim High.”
Ultimately, her 64-page paper traced the German military resistance to Hitler from pre- war all the way through Operation Valkyrie that occurred on July 20, 1944.
Victoria is the seventh student from The Summit to be published in the Concord Review, a list which includes her sisters, Caroline, Class of 2017, and Emily, Class of 2015. Out of 9 students from Cincinnati who have been published in the Review, 7 are from The Summit.
The Summit’s signature Writing Program is a rigorous curriculum that starts in the preschool and culminates in complex research and writing projects in the Middle and Upper Schools. In a recent survey, 89% of The Summit’s young alumni ranked their writing ability higher than their college peers, compared to 61% at benchmark independent schools like The Summit.