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State Historical Society of Iowa Press Release

For immediate release June 19, 2009

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

Iowa students earn national honors at history contest

Chris Green of Eldridge receives PBS Teacher of Merit Award

(DES MOINES) – Twelve Iowa students earned national honors and Chris Green of Eldridge received the PBS Teacher of Merit Award this week at the National History Day contest at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md.

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 PBS Teacher of Merit Award is given annually to an educator who uses the National History Day program as part of the curriculum. The award is a $5,000 stipend and plaque of recognition.

“I am extremely proud of the Iowa team and the way they represented our state at the national contest,” NHD in Iowa Coordinator Millie Frese said. “Having Chris Green receive the PBS Teacher of Merit is well-deserved, and the entire state of Iowa can be proud she is the NHD teacher of the year.”

Fifty-eight students represented Iowa in the NHD national contest at the University of Maryland this week, competing against nearly 2,500 other national qualifiers.

Working individually or collaboratively in groups of two to five, students competed in a variety of categories, including papers, Web sites, and individual and group exhibits, documentaries, and performances. Students in grades 6-8 competed in the junior division while students in grades 9-12 competed in the senior division.

Iowans can show their support for NHD in Iowa by purchasing Iowa Heritage license plates. Proceeds will be directed to the Iowa Heritage Fund, which supplements SHSI’s educational programs. Iowa Heritage license plate application forms are available online at http://www.iowadot.gov/Mvd/ovs/plates/heritage.htm. Applications may also be obtained from a county treasurer’s office or the following address:

Office of Vehicle Services
P.O. Box 9278
Des Moines, IA  50306-9278

Telephone:  515-237-3110
E-Mail:  vehser@dot.state.ia.us

Iowans will receive their Iowa Heritage license plates from their county treasurer’s office, which will notify them when the plates are ready to pick up.

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 is the list of Iowa students who earned national honors at this week’s NHD contest in Maryland:

Community: Akron, Iowa
Student: Emily Meerdink – 5th Place and Outstanding State Award winner in the Junior Division
Category: Junior Division, Individual Performance
Project Title: Rachel Carson: Actions Towards a Legacy of Environmental Conservation
Teachers: Valorie Philips, Colleen Westergard
School: Akron-Westfield Community Schools

Community: Carlisle, Iowa
Student: Rebekah Frese – 8th Place
Category: Junior Division, Historical Paper
Project Title: A Matter of Conscience: Harper Lee’s Call for Justice in To Kill a Mockingbird
Teacher: Millie Frese, LeAnn Oldenburger
School: Carlisle Middle School

Community: Eldridge, Iowa
Student: Kayla Kaasa – 4th Place and Outstanding State Award Winner in the Senior Division
Category: Senior Division, Individual Exhibit
Project Title: Understanding More, Fearing Less: Marie Curie’s Radium Legacy
Teacher: Chris Green
School: North Scott High School

Community: Eldridge, Iowa
Student: Sean Lovellette – 5th Place
Category: Senior Division, Individual Document
Project Title: Blood and Guts: Upton Sinclair Carves His Legacy in The Jungle
Teacher: Chris Green
School: North Scott High School

Community: Eldridge, Iowa
Student: Gretchen Mohr – 9th Place
Category: Junior Division, Individual Documentary
Project Title: Lou Henry Hoover: Actions to Empower Women
Teacher: Chris Green
School: North Scott Junior High School

Community: Eldridge, Iowa
Students: Allison Coe, Laura Klever, Shelby Oetzel – 9th Place
Category: Junior Division, Group Documentary
Project Title: Annie Wittenmyer, “God’s Angel” of the Civil War: How Her Actions Created Her Legacy
Teacher: Chris Green
School: North Scott Junior High School

Community: Eldridge, Iowa
Student: Taylor Beitzel – 12th Place
Category: Junior Division, Individual Exhibit
Project Title: Eva Schloss: Sharing Her Legacy So None Will Forget
Teacher: Chris Green
School: North Scott Junior High School

Community: Le Mars, Iowa
Student: Yashila Permeswaran – 2nd Place, Silver Medal and $500
Category: Junior Division, Historical Paper
Project Title: Frances Perkins: A Woman of Action Who Remembered the “Forgotten Man” and Left a Legacy for Workers
Teacher: Jeanne Rust
School: Le Mars Middle School

Community: Le Mars, Iowa
Student: Palani Permeswaran – 4th Place
Category: Senior Division, Historical Paper
Project Title: George Washington Carver: Taking Action to Raise the Man Farthest Down; Leaving a Legacy for Us All
Teacher: Jeanne Rust
School: Le Mars Community Schools

Community: Storm Lake, Iowa
Student: Kristine Davis – 10th Place
Category: Senior Division, Individual Document
Project Title: Medical Maverick: One Man’s Quest to Cure Mental Illness
Teacher: Roberta Moore
School: Storm Lake High School

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The State Historical Society of Iowa 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.

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