Area middle, high school students place at Central Nebraska History Day contest

Seventh-graders Caleb Wehling, left, and Corban Preston of Faith Christian School in Kearney competed in the website design competition at Wednesday’s Central Nebraska History day at UNK. Their entry focused on Douglas MacArthur.

KEARNEY – The University of Nebraska at Kearney has announced the winners of the annual Central Nebraska History Day contest.

About 200 middle school and high school students presented projects on various historical figures, which took place on campus March 11.

Schools participating in the event, which is for students in grades 6-12, include Lexington Public Schools, Arapahoe, Cozad, McCook, Loup County, Faith Christian School of Kearney, Franklin, Loomis and St. Mary’s Catholic in O’Neill.

The theme of this year’s competition is Leadership and Legacy in History.

Students compete in individual or group competitions in their choice of five different categories: poster exhibits, performances, research papers, documentary film and website design.

Students who place at the district level can compete in the Nebraska State History Day contest in Lincoln in April. Winners at state may then compete in national competition in May at the University of Maryland.

History Day is a national educational program aimed at giving students the opportunity to pursue historical research on a chosen theme, and use their creativity in developing competitive projects based on their research.

History Day is sponsored by the UNK Department of History, with support from the Buffalo County Historical Society and Kearney Public Library.

Winners of Central Nebraska History Day were:

Junior Group Performance

First – Walt Disney – Carissa Jensen, Sydney Lindstedt, Abby Thramer of Cozad

Senior Group Performance

First – Louis Zamperini – Derek Monie, Korey Tathe, Noah Wadleigh of Arapahoe

Second – Mustafa Kemal – Adrienne Einspahr, Noah Koller, Spencer Watson, Alayna Whipple of Arapahoe

Third – The Treaty of Guadlupe Hidalgo – Olivia TenBensel, Pedro Gutierrez, Brendan Lee of Arapahoe

Senior Individual Exhibit

First – Mikhail Gorbachev – Irina Girleanu of Arapahoe

Second – Literature for Social Change – Lynze Weatherwax of Arapahoe

Third – Thomas Paine – Jackie Lewis of Loup County/Taylor

Senior Group Exhibit

First – Nelson Mandela – Madison Hanke, Amanda Brinkman of Arapahoe

Second – Genghis Khan – Morgan Deisley, Nevada Gardner of Arapahoe

Third – Henry Ford – Morgan Curran, Shelby Kapperman of Arapahoe

Junior Individual Exhibit

First – The Monuments Men – Ariana Van Pelt of McCook

Second – Alexander Dubcek – Grace Strohl of Loup County/Taylor

Third – Harriet Tubman – Adrienne Labay of McCook

Junior Group Exhibit

First – Nelson Mandela – Emmett Black, Douglas Christiansen, Cassie Schelling of Faith Christian Kearney

Second – Adolf Hitler: The Life of a Dictator – Claire Harrison, Abe Schroeder, Sophia Schroeder of Franklin

Third – George Washington – Ashley Odenbach, J. D. Meeks of Loup County/Taylor

Junior Individual Documentary

First – C. S. Lewis – Rebekah Fedderson of Faith Christian Kearney

Junior Group Documentary

First – John Cozad: Founding a Community – Megan Burkholder, Katelyn Calhoun, Hailey Wilson of Cozad

Senior Group Documentary

First – Fr. Flanagan – Logan Connot, Hailey Eiler, Kendra Kozisek, Caleigh Miles of St. Mary’s Catholic O’Neill

Junior Individual Website

First – Steve Jobs – Brennan Hanson of Faith Christian Kearney

Junior Group Website

First – Four Ounces of Hope: Comic Books in WWII – Brittany Rieman, Becca Tietz, Mackenzie Smith of McCook

Second – The Life of JFK – Nick Wolvin, Terry Paxton, Connor Moorhous of McCook

Third – Douglas MacArthur – Caleb Wehling, Corban Preston, Cade Haffener of Faith Christian Kearney

Senior Individual Website

First – Matthew Ridgeway – Josh Cuddy of St. Mary’s Catholic O’Neill

Second – Warren Buffett – Tyler Regan of St. Mary’s Catholic O’Neill

Third – Jesse Owens – Will Atkeson of St. Mary’s Catholic O’Neill

Junior Research Paper

First – Irena Sendler – Mollie Tate of McCook

Senior Research Paper

First – George Beadle: Nebraska’s Geneticist – Leah Treffer of Lexington High School

Second – Fruit From the Tree of Knowledge: Steve Jobs’ Bruised Apple – Adrian Gomez of Lexington High School

Third – Standing Bear’s Fight for Equality – Isabella Sifuentes of Lexington High School

Alternate – Walt Disney: Legacy Around the World – Lili Fatig of Lexington High School


McCook eighth-grade students, from left, Sydney Stewart, Riley Hansen and Sophia Burns gave a presentation on the Barnum and Bailey Circus at Wednesday’s Central Nebraska History Day at UNK.


Contact: James Rohrer, event coordinator, UNK Department of History, 308.865.8769,

Writer: Sara Giboney, 308.865.8529,





One thought on “Area middle, high school students place at Central Nebraska History Day contest

  1. All very impressive exhibits and work shown from these efforts. Congratulations to each winner–and also to all of those who submitted exhibits for their fine work. This shows us all the quality of college level work these young students are headed for and preparing themselves for: good work!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *