Jeff Morgan, (515)
(DES MOINES, Iowa) –
Four Iowa students took first place today at the annual National History Day competition
held this week at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md. More than 2,000
students from across the country competed in the weeklong event.
National History Day is
an exciting 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 their love for history. The program encourages students
to use primary, secondary, community and statewide resources on a subject of their
choice related to an annual theme. This year’s theme is “Communication
in History: The Key to Understanding.”
In Iowa, the road to Maryland
began in February when more than 3,500 students competed at the regional level;
about 600 of them moved on to the state competition in May, with 50 advancing
to the national competition.
“The quality and
diversity of their work exceeded our expectations,” said Naomi Peuse, state
coordinator for National History Day in Iowa. “This is such an amazing outcome
for the National History Day in Iowa delegation. It is an outstanding comment
on the quality of education and ability of Iowa’s students.”
Storm Lake Middle School
students Kristi Davis & Justine Scarbrough won first place for their Junior
Group Documentary entitled, “Circuit Chautauqua: Culture, Companionship,
and Education Under Canvas.” Davis and Scarbrough made extensive use of
the University of Iowa special collections during the course of their research
and discovered quickly that “History Day is really fun, difficult at times,
but really, really fun.” Their teacher is Roberta Moore.
Marshalltown High School
senior Sarah Frese won first place for her Senior Individual Exhibit, “The
Iowa Bystander: Fighting for Equality in the Press.” “National History
Day has opened so many doors for me this year,” Frese said. “I exhibited
my project at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, fine-tuned skills that
will help me in my future, and met many amazing people. It is great to see something
I have spent so much time on receive national recognition.” Sarah’s
teacher is Millie Frese.
Marshalltown High School
student Stephen Frese won first place with his Senior Historical Paper, “Divided
By a Common Language: The Babel Proclamation and its Impact in Iowa History.”
Frese has won a total of four medals in the historical paper category since beginning
his participation in 2002. Frese was able to relate his research on the Babel
Proclamation to the current Official Language Act using past and present resources.
Frese’s teacher is Scott Johnson.
Fifteen other Iowa students
were recognized as national finalists:
Community Schools students David Parkinson, Rachel Black, Annie Kjar, Allie Lanning,
and Rebecca Meerdink placed fourth and received the Junior Division Outstanding
State Award for their Junior Group Performance, “Tinker v. Des Moines: A
Key to Understanding Students’ Struggle to Communicate their Rights.”
Their teacher is Valorie Philips.
· Valley High School
students Amy Paul and Katie Pauley placed fifth and received the Senior Division
Outstanding State Award with their Senior Group Documentary, “Democratic
Communication: Helen Thomas, the Press, and the President.” Their teacher
is Kathy Paul.
· North Tama County
High School student David Morrison placed fifth with his Senior Individual Documentary
entitled, “Ding Darling: Communicator, Cartoonist, Conservationist.”
Morrison’s teachers are Rozella Stull and Judy Morrison.
· Wayne Community
School students Melissa Ewing, Andy Perkins and Breanne Carpenter placed 11th
with their Senior Group Exhibit, “The Warren Report: Communicating the Truth.”
Their teacher is Mike Jones.
· North Scott Junior
High students Kristyn Griesbach and Katelyn Tharp placed 12th with their Junior
Group Documentary, “Jacques-Yves Cousteau: Communicating His Message to
the World.” Their teacher is Chris Green.
· North Scott Junior
High student Susan Leslie placed 13th with her Junior Individual Exhibit, “Sarah
Gillespie Huftalen: Communication Rural Education.” Her teacher is Chris
Community School student Katherine Tindall placed 13th with her Junior Individual
Performance, “Sequoyah: Giving the Cherokee People a Key to Understanding
Written Communication.” Tindall’s teacher is Colleen Westergard
Kathryn Skilton of Nashua-Plainfield
Community Schools was also recognized with the History of the American Presidency,
a special award sponsored by the Truman Library Institute. Skilton’s teacher
is Suzan Turner.
Each year, National History
Day serves more than 700,000 students in grades 6-12 across the United States.
NHD requires rigorous research, analysis and creative presentation of historical
conclusions. National History Day in Iowa is sponsored by the State Historical
Society of Iowa, with major funding from the State Historical Society, Inc., a
federal earmark sponsored by Senator Tom Harkin, the Cargill Corporation, and
the American Legion of Iowa Foundation.
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