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State Historical Society of Iowa Press Release

For immediate release May 4, 2009

Contact: Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov, (515) 281-3858

29 Iowa students earn trip to National History Day national contest

(DES MOINES) – Twenty-nine Iowa students who competed in the National History Day in Iowa contest today have earned a trip to the 2009 national contest in June at the University of Maryland.

The 29 national qualifiers announced today competed against more than 400 Iowa students in the NHD in Iowa junior division (grades 6-8) at the State Historical Building in Des Moines. They join 29 other Iowa students from last week’s NHD in Iowa senior division (grades 9-12) contest who also advanced to the 2009 NHD National Contest

 NHD is an academic-enrichment program that helps students learn about historical issues, ideas, people and events. The year-long academic adventure fosters students’ enthusiasm for learning and encourages them to use primary, secondary, community and statewide resources on a subject of their choice related to an annual theme. The theme for 2009 is “The Individual in History: Actions and Legacies.”

“Nearly every year, we have more than 3,500 students competing in district contests, with about 700 of them moving on to Des Moines for the state junior and senior division contests,” said Cyndi Pederson, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. “From that pool, 50 to 60 are selected to attend the National Contest in June at the University of Maryland.”

Working individually or collaboratively in groups of two to five, students compete in a variety of categories, including papers, Web sites, and individual and group exhibits, documentaries, and performances. Students in grades 6-8 compete in the junior division while students in grades 9-12 compete in the senior division. Students in grades 4-5 may participate in the noncompetitive Iowa Youth Division.

The 58 Iowa students who qualified for this year’s NHD national contest will compete for awards and scholarships June 14-18, 2009, at the University of Maryland.

In 2006, Stephen Frese of Marshalltown received the Grand Prize at the National History Day awards ceremony – a four-year, full tuition scholarship to Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, valued at more than $100,000.

In 2007, 18 Iowa students earned national rankings and four others were recognized with special awards and a scholarship. Last year, three Iowa students won their respective categories and 25 others earned honors at the national contest.

NHD in Iowa program has been coordinated by the State Historical Society of Iowa since 1994 and is sponsored by the State Historical Society of Iowa, State Historical Society, Inc., Obermann-Beck Foundation, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Alexander Clark House Foundation and the Polk County Historical Society. More information about NHD in Iowa is available at www.iowahistory.org or by contacting Millie Frese at 515-281-6860 or millie.frese@iowa.gov.

Following are the NHD in Iowa junior division winners announced today:

(Category)
(Student(s))
(Title of Project)
(Teacher(s))
(School)
(City)

Individual Performance
Emily Meerdink
Rachel Carson: Actions Towards a Legacy of Environmental Conservation
Valorie Philips, Colleen Westergard
Akron-Westfield Community Schools
Akron, Iowa

Elena Hildebrandt
Why Not Me?
Tony Voss
Merrill Middle School
Des Moines, Iowa

Group Performance
Lexi Bernstein, Alexis Koch
From Death to Destruction: The Heroic Story of Rosa Robota
Jean Oberbroeckling
Harding Middle School
Des Moines, Iowa

Alice Gullekson, Taylor Lane, Anna Madrigal, Sarah Tappe
The Angel of the Warsaw Ghetto: The Actions and Legacies of Irena Sendler
Patty Lien
St. Benedict School
Decorah, Iowa

Historical Paper
Yashila Permeswaran
Frances Perkins: A Woman of Action Who Remembered the “Forgotten Man” and Left a Legacy for Workers
Jeanne Rust
LeMars Middle School
LeMars, Iowa

Rebekah Frese
A Matter of Conscience: Harper Lee’s Call for Justice in To Kill a Mockingbird
Mille Frese, LeAnn Oldenburger
Carlisle Middle School
Carlisle, Iowa

Web Site
Kayla Ingvalson, Natalie Meyer, Molly Wettach
The ‘Unsinkable’ Molly Brown
Peggy Beatty, Janelle Keune, Meg Storkamp
Decorah Middle School
Decorah, Iowa

Zach Kooistra
Rachel Carson and Silent Spring: The Legacy of the Modern Environmental Movement
Jeanne Rust
LeMars Middle School
LeMars, Iowa

Individual Documentary
Allie Spickermann
Mark Twain: Writing a Legacy of Equal Rights to the Common Man
Chris Green
North Scott Junior High School
Eldridge, Iowa

Gretchen Mohr
Lou Henry Hoover: Actions to Empower Women
Chris Green
North Scott Junior High School
Eldridge, Iowa

Group Documentary
Haley Coyle, Jayde Ostermyer, Kylee Reed
Actions not Words: Alice Paul, Taking the Women’s Movement to the Streets
Valorie Philips, Colleen Westergard
Akron-Westfield Community School
Akron, Iowa

Allison Coe, Laura Klever, Shelby Oetzel
Annie Wittenmyer, “God’s Angel” of the Civil War: How Her Actions Created Her Legacy
Chris Green
North Scott Junior High School
Eldridge, Iowa

Individual Exhibit
Ella Newell
Cracking the Glass Ceiling: “A Lady Admitted to Practice Law”
Sarah Cooper
Waverly-Shell Rock Junior High School
Waverly, Iowa

Taylor Beitzel
Eva Schloss: Sharing Her Legacy So None Will Forget
Chris Green
North Scott Junior High School
Eldridge, Iowa

Group Exhibit
Emily Bainter, Cydnie Carmody, Katie Swoboda
Barbara Fassbinder – Tragedy Leads to a Lifesaving Legacy
Chris Green
North Scott Junior High School
Eldridge, Iowa

Andrew Boge, John Koopal
“A Person’s a Person No Matter How Small’ Actions and Legacies of Dr. Seuss
Connie Pruitt
Summit Middle School
Urbandale, Iowa

North Scott Junior High School of Eldridge received recognition as school of the year in the NHD in Iowa junior division. LeMars Middle School of LeMars took second place and Akron-Westfield Community Schools of Akron followed in third place. Chris Green of North Scott was named the Teacher of the Year for the NHD in Iowa junior division.

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The State Historical Society of Iowa is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and is a trustee of Iowa's historical legacy and an advocate for understanding Iowa's past. It identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages and provides access to Iowa's historical resources. Its dual mission of preservation and education serves Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state. Visit www.iowahistory.org or call 515-281-5111 for more information.

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