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April 29, 2005

Gov. Blagojevich announces 2005 Student Historians of the Year
Junior and senior high school students recognized for their articles published in a statewide history magazine

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the 2005 Student Historians of the Year. These 14 student historians are being recognized for their outstanding articles published in Illinois History magazine - the nation’s oldest history magazine written by and for junior and senior high school students. 
More than 80 students submitted articles in the past year to Illinois History, and almost 50 were published, of which these 14 are being recognized. The winning authors explored topics in their articles ranging from mid-19th century Winnebago County newspapers, to the historical contributions of an often-overlooked U.S. senator from Illinois and associate of Abraham Lincoln, to the lives of Illinois teens on the home front.
“These young people, with their detailed research and great interest in Illinois’ rich traditions and history, make our state proud,” said Gov. Blagojevich.  “Their articles give all Illinois students a better appreciation of our rich, shared heritage.”
The winning students wrote articles that appeared in the January, February and April 2005 editions of Illinois History magazine, a publication founded in 1947 and written by the state’s junior and senior high school students.  It is published by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency’s Education Services Program, which also publishes Illinois History Teacher, which contains teaching materials.  For more information, visit www.Illinois-History.gov and click on “Education Services.”
Four of the fourteen students were singled out for special recognition as having the best-written and researched articles of the 14 winners.  These four winners, who each receive a $50 prize, are:
  • Senior Historical Research Award: Miriam Carlson
Heritage School, Rockford
Teacher:  Elizabeth Carlson
“Journalism or Politics?  Early Newspapers in Winnebago County.”
Miriam’s research is distinguished by the use of numerous references from the very newspapers on which she wrote.  Because these are mid-19th century newspapers of purely local circulation, Miriam’s work, which appeared in April 2005, stands out from many other worthy student contributors to Illinois History.
  • Junior Historical Research Award: Julia Meyer
Good Shepherd Lutheran School, Collinsville 
Teacher:  Michael Voss
“Illinois Teens on the Home Front.”
Julia’s research is outstanding for its heavy reliance on books and newspaper accounts for her subject.  Many students were naturally attracted to the January 2005 issue in which her article appeared.  However, Julia’s serious treatment of the topic is attested to by very serious research.
  • Senior Historical Writing Award: Allison Weigel
Belleville Township High School West 
Teacher:  Melissa Schmitt
“The Lincoln-Trumbull Connection.”
Allison wrote in February 2005 about the too-little known U.S. Senator from Illinois, Lyman Trumbull.  Not only did Senator Trumbull introduce the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (which abolished slavery), but he was also one of seven senators who courageously voted against the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson.  Allison’s article details the role Trumbull had in enabling Abraham Lincoln’s rise to the presidency.
  • Junior Historical Writing Award: Brandon Kemmerling
Washington School, Peoria
Teachers:  Mindy Juriga and Janelle Dies
“David Davis’ Contribution to the Illinois Central Railroad.”
Brandon demonstrated an exceptional talent for good story telling in his well-researched article appearing in February 2005.  Brandon concludes forcefully about David Davis:  “Because of his leadership, he will be remembered forever in the history of Illinois.”
Other Student Historians of the Year 2005
(All receive certificates)
  • Meredith Saum
Carbondale Community High School
Teacher:  Patricia Grimmer
“Mr. And Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant” February 2005
  • Sarah Troutman
Oregon High School
Teacher:  Sara Werckle
“Joseph Medill and His Positive Role in Illinois History”
April 2005
  • Sara Ashton-Szabo
Civic Memorial High School, Bethalto
Teacher:  Carol B. Phillips
“David Davis:  A Defender of the Constitution”
February 2005
  • Jie Han
University Laboratory School, Urbana
Teacher:  Adele Suslick
“Clothing for Teen Girls in the 1970s.”
January 2005
  • Bryce Parsons-Twesten
Belleville Township High School West
Teacher:  Melissa Schmitt
“Defender of Integrity:  The Story of Paul Simon”
April 2005
  • Daniel D. Borup
University Laboratory School, Urbana
Teacher:  Steve Rayburn
“D-Day in the Chicago Daily Tribune
April 2005
  • Raymond Davis
Brookwood Junior High School, Glenwood
Teacher:  Harry Daley
“Child Labor in the 1930s”
January 2005
  • Lauren Piester
University Laboratory School, Urbana
Teacher:  Rosemary Laughlin
“Lyman Trumbull and the Pullman Strike”
February 2005
  • Tara Benhoff
All Saints Academy, Breese
Teacher:  Stephanie Garcia
“Ida B. Wells-Barnett”
April 2005
  • Elizabeth Ann Murphy
Keller Elementary Gifted Center, Chicago
Teacher:  Sandra Cap
“The Differences of Teenagers in the 1940s Compared to Teenagers Today”
January 2005
The Illinois History Preservation Agency’s annual Illinois History Expo, scheduled for May 12th in Springfield, will showcase the papers, projects, exhibits and performances of nearly 1,400 of the state’s top junior and senior high school history students.


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