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Ninety-eight students earn honors at state history contest, advance to Nationals, special award recipients and educators recognized

5/6/2024

DES MOINES – Ninety-eight Iowa students earned top honors in the National History Day in Iowa Contest
Monday and advanced to compete in the national contest in June.

The ninety-eight students emerged from a total of 500 competitors in Monday’s state contest at the Iowa Event
Center in Des Moines. In June, they will travel to the University of Maryland – College Park where they will
compete in the National History Day contest against nearly 3,000 students from the United States and around
the world. The program is administered by the State Historical Society of Iowa, a division of the Iowa
Department of Administrative Services.

This year’s national qualifiers include students from twenty-one different schools:
Abraham Lincoln High School
Akron Westfield Middle School
Ames High School
Bettendorf Middle School
Bishop Heelan Catholic School
Decorah Community Schools Home School Assistance Program
Decorah High School
Emmetsburg Middle School
Gerald W. Kirn Middle School
John F. Kennedy High School
Johnston Senior High School
Harding Middle School
Marshalltown High School
Nashua-Plainfield Junior-Senior High
Nevada Middle School
North Scott Senior High School
St. Benedict School
Storm Lake high School
Unity Christian High School
Wayne Community Junior-Senior High School
Williamsburg Junior-Senior High School

Additionally, five history educators were recognized for their outstanding contribution to history education:

Valerie Phillips, Akron-Westfield Middle School, NHD in Iowa Teacher of the Year – Junior Division.
Sierra Dirksen, Storm Lake Middle School (Honorable Mention First-year NHD Teacher).
Susan Fritzell, Marshalltown High School, NHD in Iowa Teacher of the Year – Senior Division.
Brianne McDermott, Abraham Lincoln High School Council Bluffs (Honorable Mention First Year NHD Teacher).
Linda Vanden Bosch, Clarinda High School, Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award – Iowa Senior Division
Nominee.

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Annually, more than a half million middle and higher school students around the world research, develop and
present papers, exhibits, documentaries. Websites and performance about historical topics. The 2024 theme is
‘Turning Points in History.”

The National History Day in Iowa program has been coordinated by the State Historical Society of Iowa since
1994.

Note: The lists of the state winners and special award recipients is available online:
https://history.iowa.gov/sites/default/files/2024-
04/2024%20NHD%20in%20Iowa%20State%20Contest%20Awards%20Ceremony%20%20-
%20Qualifiers%20and%20Alternates.pdf

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