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      National recognition for Payson Junior High history buffs

      School may be out for the summer, but a group of nine girls from Payson Junior High School just returned home after a National History Day competition in Washington D.C.

      The girls previously won awards at the state level for their documentaries on mental health in the state of Illinois.

      That recognition took them to nationals for the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest at Maryland University last week.

      While they have yet to receive their ranking, they wanted to thank the person who they say spent as many hours on their year-long project as they did.

      "We would like to thank Ms. Mena because without her, we wouldn't have gotten this far. And she helped us to get this far up to nationals. So, thank you," Ailaa Ippensen said.

      More than 17 thousand Illinois students competed regionally with their history projects, two thousand of whom made it to state.

      Students from 12 Illinois communities were chosen to go to nationals.