National award received by Major James Kerr DAR Chapter

Ellen Kenalty (right) and her American History students who were recently named as first place winners of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Commemorative Events Celebration of the 250th Anniversary of the Boston Massacre.

On May 11, 2021, members from the Major James Kerr Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, met at Rails Event Center to honor local teacher Ellen Kenalty and her American history students, who were recently named as first-place winners of the NSDAR “Commemorative Events Celebration of the 250th Anniversary of the Boston Massacre.”

Kenalty is a member of the Major James Kerr Chapter; and last year she taught as a classroom learning project this special Commemorative Event to her eighth-grade students at Notre Dame School in Kerrville.

In January 2020 she began the study by first introducing the subject of the causes of the American Revolution, and this led to a more in-depth analysis of the Boston Massacre. The students read the textbook version of the incident and then watched a documentary and a reenactment.

The students studied the famous Paul Revere engraving and compared it with J.H. Bufford's painting, then discussed the terms and the use of bias and propaganda. Two articles, one which was told from the British point of view and the other from the perspective of the Colonists, provided further points of discussion.

From all this information, the class prepared a mock trial to determine the fate of the eight British soldiers who were charged with murder. This took place in the Fireside Room of Notre Dame School.

Members of the Major James Kerr Chapter were invited to act as jurors and on March 5, 2020, a date which coincided with the actual date of the Boston Massacre, the students reenacted the trial. The DAR members were then asked to render a verdict in the presence of Principal Sandi Killo, 16 DAR members, 10 parents, in addition to Mrs. Kenalty and her students.

The students one year later are now freshmen, and their former teacher Mrs. Kenalty and Principal Killo along with parents were invited to join members of the Major James Kerr Chapter at the after-school reception at Rails Event Center, to recognize their first-place award.

The chapter presented framed certificates of appreciation; and several national and state leaders of the DAR sent letters of congratulations that praised the teacher and her students.

In addition to the thanks expressed by the chapter, Kenalty and the students will be recognized at the DAR Virtual Continental Congress, scheduled to be held June 30 to July 4 of this year in Washington, D.C.

Denise Van Buren, the president general of the Daughters of the American Revolution, will present the special certificate from the national organization to the Major James Kerr Chapter on Friday, July 2 at 2 p.m. EST and this will be followed by a Power Point presentation about the Commemorative Event.

"Each student and their teacher have made our DAR Chapter proud." said a spokesperson from the Chapter. "These students are definitely above and beyond in reaching high expectations. They are leaders, they are intelligent, and they will definitely be successful in life in whatever career path they choose. Our DAR members wish the students much success as they continue their education."

 About the DAR

The Daughters of the American Revolution is a patriotic, historical, and educational service organization. Any woman aged 18 years or older who can trace her ancestry through genealogy back to involvement in the American Revolutionary War is eligible for membership. For more information, please contact

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