Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov,
PARK, MD) - Stephen Frese of Marshalltown
High School received the grand prize at the National
History Day awards ceremony today, a four-year, full
tuition scholarship to Case Western Reserve University
in Cleveland, Ohio valued at more than $100,000. Eight
more Iowa students earned additional honors.
Frese joined 47 Iowa students in representing the
state in the NHD national competition at the University
of Maryland this week, competing against nearly 2,000
other national qualifiers from across the country
with historical papers, exhibits, documentaries and
performances. This year's theme was "Taking
a Stand in History: People, Ideas, Events."
"The 48 students representing Iowa at the National
History Day events in College Park had an extremely
good showing this week," said State Coordinator
Naomi Peuse. "Iowans should be very proud of
these amazing young people. Their research successes
and extraordinary stories set them apart from others
their age. I couldn't be happier with the week's
Frese participated in the 2006 NHD competition with
an original historical research paper on the life
and career of Alexander Clark, a civil rights leader
from Iowa. The paper is titled "From Emancipation
to Equality: Alexander Clark's Stand for Civil
Rights in Iowa."
Clark was a barber who moved to Iowa in 1849 and
worked to improve the status of blacks in the state.
He petitioned the state to rescind legislation prohibiting
the immigration of free blacks. In 1863, he organized
the 1st Iowa Volunteers of African Descent, a Union
Army regiment of 1,100 black soldiers who served during
the Civil War. Clark also served as publisher and
editor of the Chicago Conservator and in
1890 received the highest presidential appointment
ever offered to a black man when he became the U.S.
Minister to Liberia.
"Writing papers for National History Day has
helped me improve my writing skills beyond what has
been required in high school classes," Frese
said. "National History Day has been an amazing
NHD and Case Western Reserve University present the
grand prize award each year to a student who demonstrates
academic excellence and dedication to historical study
through competition in the NHD program. Frese's
commitment to performing well in high school and in
NHD pushed him to the forefront of a pool of talented
Frese also took home his fifth medal for Iowa, placing
first in the historical paper category. He located
countless primary source materials at the Muscatine
Public Library. He will receive a $1,000 gift for
winning the category. Frese's teacher is Millie
Other Iowa students receiving honors this week include
Leah Bowman, a seventh grader from Summit Middle
School in Johnston, took home the silver with her
individual performance, "Harmony Between Races:
Marion Anderson and Eleanor Roosevelt Take a Stand."
Bowman pooled her resources using her grandmother's
hat and her great-grandmother's jewelry to portray
Roosevelt and her courageous efforts toward racial
equality. When asked of her experience Bowman said,
"I am so relieved to know I didn't suffer
through a hair net, clip-on earrings and fake collars
for nothing." Bowman's second place medal
comes with a $500 prize. Her teacher is Connie Pruitt.
Rachelle Edgar, a senior from Marshalltown High School,
placed third with her individual exhibit, "
‘…A Persistent Pioneer': In Africa,
Norman Borlaug Stands Against Hunger." Edgar
met with Borlaug during the research process for an
in-depth look at his life and work. She said her experience
"isn't boring, you get to relive the exciting,
life-changing events of the past in a fun way."
Her prize comes with a $250 gift. Edgar's teacher
is Scott Johnson.
Allison Koch, an eighth grader from Taft Middle School
in Cedar Rapids, placed third with her individual
documentary, "No Choice but to Resist: Diet
Eman's Stand Against the Nazi Regime."
Eman, a Dutch Resistance worker during the Holocaust,
caught Koch's attention when she read the autobiography
Things We Couldn't Say during her summer
holiday. She followed up with a personal interview
and called the experience "very special."
Koch's prize is $250. Her teacher is Shirley
Tyler Cahill and Nolan Swanson, North Scott Junior
High students from Eldridge, also placed third with
their group documentary, "Jackie Robinson: Taking
a Stand for African-Americans, Baseball, and Beyond."
The duo investigated countless sources covering Robinson's
baseball career and later civil rights efforts. Swanson
noted, "It is awesome to be part of NHD."
Their teacher is Chris Green.
Matt Pacha and Cory Greenleaf of North Scott Junior
High placed eighth and won the Junior Division Outstanding
State Award for their group exhibit, "The 1909
Cherry Mine Disaster: Taking a Stand for Mining Safety."
Pacha and Greenleaf visited Cherry, Illinois for a
better sense of the topic and its impact. Greenleaf
said, "NHD is a very fun experience."
Their teacher is Chris Green.
David Morrison, a senior from North Tama Community
High School in Traer, placed 10th and won the Senior
Division Outstanding State Award for his individual
documentary, "John L. Lewis: Taking a Stand
for Workers' Rights." Morrison made extensive
use of collections at the State Historical Society
of Iowa in Iowa City during the course of his research.
He was "very honored to receive this award which
culminates my five years of NHD." His teachers
are Judy Morrison and Roz Stull.
Chris Parcher, a junior from Northwood-Kensett High
School, received the Jamestown Award for his individual
performance, "Sugihara." He will receive
a trip to the settlement for its 400th Anniversary
Celebration. Parcher, a long time NHD participant,
has attended the national event for three years. His
teacher is Deborah Nagle.
Kristyn Griesbach, a seventh grader from North Scott
Junior High in Eldridge, received the Civil War Award
for her historical paper, "A Necessary Measure:
Abraham Lincoln's Suspension of Habeas Corpus."
Griesbach said "NHD is really important to me
because I get the opportunity to see how all the events
in the world unfolded and I learn how to analyze it
to create a research project to share with others."
Her teacher is Chris Green.
NHD is a yearlong, nonprofit education organization
dedicated to improving the teaching and learning of
history in elementary and secondary schools through
publications and education programs. The program annually
involves millions of people and makes history come
alive for students across the United States. Through
the program, students develop critical thinking and
research skills by creating exhibits, performances,
documentaries and papers they enter in competitions
at the district, state and national levels.
NHD provides educational services to teachers, including
curricular materials and Internet resources, and annual
teacher workshops and training institutes. More than
2,000 students from 49 states, the District of Columbia,
American Samoa and Department of Defense schools participated
in the 2006 NHD competition.
NHD in Iowa has been coordinated by the State Historical
Society of Iowa since 1994. Major funding comes from
the State Historical Society of Iowa, Inc. of Iowa
City, a federal earmark, the American Legion of Iowa
Foundation and Cargill. More information about NHD
in Iowa is available at www.iowahistory.org
or by contacting Naomi Peuse at 515-281-6860 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
to What's New Section