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State Historical Society of Iowa Press Release

For immediate release June 21, 2013

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

18 Students Earn Honors at 2013 National History Day Contest

Akron, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Eldridge, Johnston, Nashua, Storm Lake

DES MOINES – Eighteen students from seven Iowa communities received honors and recognition at the 2013 Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland.

National History Day 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 2013 is “Turning Points in History: People, Ideas, Events.”

“Iowans can be very proud of the students who represented our state this week,” said Mary Cownie, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. “Overall, we had a total of 70 students competing this year against nearly 2,500 other students from the United States, Guam, America Samoa, Department of Defense School in Europe, Korea, Southeast Asia, and Shanghai, China, for scholarships and prizes.”

Brady Frank, Adelyn Carmody and Benjamin Stutting of North Scott Junior High School in Eldridge received the highest recognition among the Iowa students, receiving a Bronze Medal and $250 for a third-place finish for their exhibit, “Kristallnacht ‘Night of Broken Glass:’ A Turning Point in Jewish History,” in the Junior Division Group Exhibit category.

Cody Baker and Kayla Joyner of Storm Lake Middle School took fourth place in the Junior Group Web Sites category for their website, “The Eisenhower Interstate System: Our Road to a Stronger Nation.”

Working individually or collaboratively in groups of two to five, students compete in a variety of categories, including historical papers, individual and group exhibits, documentaries, performances and websites. Students in grades 9-12 compete in the Senior Division while students in grades 6-8 compete in the Junior Division.

In addition to discovering the world of the past, the NHD program helps students develop the following attributes that are critical for future success:

  • critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • research and reading skills
  • oral and written communication and presentation skills
  • self-esteem and confidence
  • a sense of responsibility for and involvement in the democratic process

The NHD in Iowa program has been coordinated by the State Historical Society of Iowa since 1994 and is sponsored by the State Historical Society, Inc., and the History Channel. 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 a list of Iowa students and projects that received national rankings and awards in their respective categories:

(Title of Project)
(Placing at Nationals)


Senior Historical Paper
Madeline Skilton
More Than Just a Pretty Face: A Doll’s Impact on Play, Self−Image, and the World of Marketing
Nashua−Plainfield High School
Suzan Turner
14th Place

Senior Individual Exhibit
Cedar Rapids
Abhinaya Gunasekar
Brown v. Board of Education: Turning Point in Pursuit of Equality
Kennedy High School
Shannon Haas
13th Place

Senior Group Documentary
Dexter Golinghorst, Gretchen Mohr
Turning the Currents of United States Navigation, Transportation, and Expansion: The Effie Afton Affair
North Scott High School
Chris Green
12th Place

Senior Individual Performance
Des Moines
Elena Hildebrandt
Pearl McGill—Changing How America Works
Des Moines Central Academy
Canada Snyder, Amy Finnegan
12th Place


Junior Group Exhibit
Brady Frank, Adelyn Carmody, Benjamin Stutting
Kristallnacht “Night of Broken Glass”: A Turning Point in Jewish History
North Scott Junior High School
Chris Green
3rd Place/Bronze Medal/$250

Emmy Knuth, Danika Smith, Rose Witt
Chernobyl: Fatal Disaster, Turning Point in Nuclear Energy
Akron−Westfield Community School
Colleen Westergard, Val Philips
9th Place

Junior Group Performance
Cameron Wahlberg, Daniel Martinsen, Skyler Briggs, Charlie Anderson
Teddy Roosevelt: Turning Tables on Corporations
Akron−Westfield Community School
Colleen Westergard, Val Philips
7th Place

Junior Individual Web Sites
Nikki Hobson
Nellie Bly: Paving the Way for a Society with Women in the Workforce
Johnston Middle School
Kathy Paul
9th Place

Junior Group Web Sites
Storm Lake
Cody Baker, Kayla Joyner
The Eisenhower Interstate System: Our Road to a Stronger Nation
Storm Lake Middle School
Priscilla Robinson
4th Place



The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs is responsible for developing the state’s interest in the areas of the arts, history and other cultural matters with the advice and assistance from its two divisions: the State Historical Society of Iowa and the Iowa Arts Council. DCA preserves, researches, interprets and promotes an awareness and understanding of local, state and regional history and stimulates and encourages the study and presentation of the performing and fine arts and public interest and participation in them. It implements tourism-related art and history projects as directed by the General Assembly and designs a comprehensive, statewide, long-range plan with the assistance of the Iowa Arts Council to develop the arts in Iowa. More information about DCA is available at www.culturalaffairs.org.



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