Daniel Dorminy, of McDonough, said he did not expect to be rewarded for his determination to learn about a pivotal figure in history.
"It was a really big shock and surprise to me," he said. "I understand that I'm a good researcher, but I know there are a lot better researchers than me."
Dorminy, 16, recently received the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Board's Award for Excellence in Student Research Using Historical Records. He was recognized, Oct. 4, by Georgia Secretary of State Brian P. Kemp, and the board's chairperson, Kaye Minchew.
The awards tout individuals for their archives and records work in the state. The advisory board gives out awards on an annual basis, according to David Carmicheal, director of the Georgia Archives.
"Usually, we get quite a few nominations," said Carmicheal. "Each category has its own panel. What they're looking for is the use of historical records in a way that stands up above their peers. [Dorminy] actually did an exhibit and used a lot of primary documents — diaries, speeches, photographs and that kind of thing."
The Henry County home-schooler was singled out for recognition among his peers in ninth- through 12th-grades, according to Matt Carrothers, the Secretary of State's director of media relations.
"Dorminy, a high school junior, produced ‘Yalta and Potsdam: The Churchill Effect,' an exhibit, which finished second at the 2011 statewide National History Day competition, and qualified for national competition," said Carrothers.
Dorminy is active with the Home School History programs of the National Archives, in Morrow. Carrothers said the teen has a passion for aviation history, and especially World War II history.
"As part of the research project, he visited several historic sites in England through a summer enrichment course offered at Duke University," said Carrothers. "He also consulted a variety of primary documents, ranging from diaries to speeches and photographs. The digitized collection, ‘Foreign Relations of the United States,' was a particularly important source for the project, and he acquired secondary sources through public and academic libraries."
Dorminy became interested in historical research after participating in a World War II study-abroad trip to Europe. He said one individual, in particular, stood out to him — former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
"I realized just how important Winston Churchill was for the Allies," said Dorminy. "He was the mediator or moderator of the conferences leading up to the Normandy invasion, the Yalta Conference and the Potsdam Conference. Those are the conferences I focused on."
Dorminy researched Churchill for nearly a year, in anticipation of the advisory board's contest. The student was notified, last month, of his win.
The Georgia Historical Records Advisory Board works to promote the educational use of Georgia's documentary heritage, and to support efforts to improve the condition of records in the state. The board advises Gov. Nathan Deal, Secretary of State Kemp and the Georgia Archives on records and policy issues.
For more information, visit www.GeorgiaArchives.org.