Area middle, high school students compete at History Day


UNK Communications

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

Nearly 200 middle school and high school students presented projects based on the theme “Exploration, Encounter and Exchange in History” on campus on March 9.

Schools participating in the event were Kearney Faith Christian, Cozad, Lexington, Arapahoe, McCook, Loup County and Franklin.

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

Winning projects had to clearly showcase the theme and show accuracy of facts, breadth of research and clarity of presentation.

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 June 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:

Senior Group Performance

First – Dark Encounters: E.A. Poe and the Short Story – Bianca Hernandez, Alba Muniz, Trevor McKeone, Rachel Biehl of Lexington High School

Second – The First Crusade – Derek Monie, Korey Rathe, Noah Wadleigh, Michael French, Ashton Wasenius of Arapahoe

Third – Elizabeth Cady and Susan B. Anthony – Claire Everitt, Paige Tomjack, Karissa Nichols, Maria Fahrenholz of St. Mary’s High School in O’Neill

Senior Individual Exhibits

First – Apollo 13 – JD Meeks of Loup County

Second – Wounded Knee – Lynze Weatherwax of Arapahoe

Third – Origin of American Food – Yelithza Olivas of Arapahoe

Alternate: The Silk Road – Grace Strohl of Loup County

Senior Group Exhibit

First – Louis Zamperini – Ethan Allen, Paul Sandoz of Loup County

Second – The Not-so-Golden Expedition – Desteny Miller, Alex Rousch of Arapahoe

Third – The Bermuda Triangle – Hailey Glidden, Emily Sheldon of Loup County

Alternate: Exploration of the West – Whitney Steckel, Michelle Kessler of Loup County

Junior Individual Exhibit

First – Buffalo Bill Cody – Claire Harrison of Franklin

Second – Satellites: Exploring Communications in Space – Katie Pongratz of St. Mary’s in O’Neill

Third – Nelson Mandela – Presley Pribil of St. Mary’s in O’Neill

Alternate: War Brides – Abby Allen of Loup County

Junior Group Exhibit

First – A Day Which Will Live in Infamy – Candace Coleman, Kori Uerling, Brolin Morgan of McCook Jr. High

Second – Polio Vaccination – Betsy Crumly, Abby Everitt, Carissa Reiser, Sybil Scofiels, Alexa Shald of St. Mary’s in O’Neill

Third – Sir Edmund Hillary – Cassie Schelling, Sidney Province, Katherine Kelliher of Faith Christian Kearney

Alternate: Mansa Musa – Ally Micheel, Cali VanDiest of Loup County

Junior Individual Documentary

First – Battle of the Atlantic – Jerron Stark of Cozad

Junior Group Documentary

First – March on Washington – Abigail Nelsen, Haley Cargill of Cozad

Senior Group Documentary

First – Queen Elizabeth I – Lana Kerner, Alex Lee of Arapahoe

Senior Individual Documentary

First – HIV – Abraham Whitson of Arapahoe

Second – Albert Einstein – Brielle Weverka of Arapahoe

Junior Individual Website

First – The Life of Martha Graham – Vera Butterfield of St. Mary’s in O’Neill

Second – Project Apollo – Corban Preston of Faith Christian Kearney

Third – War Elephants – Elsiana Rodewald of McCook

Junior Group Website

First – Lee Iacocca – Cade Haffener, Caleb Wehling of Faith Christian Kearney

Second – Student Rights: Tinker vs. Des Moines – Megan Burkholder, Hailey Wilson, Katelyn Calhoun, Cade Stott of Cozad

Third – Google: How Larry Page… – Brennan Hanson, Christopher Needham of Faith Christian

Senior Individual Website

First – Helen Keller – Gabrielle Stephens of Arapahoe

Second – Lincoln and the Telegraph – Jordan Dockweiler of Loup County

Third – The History of Tajikistan – Zarifjon Nosirov of St. Mary’s in O’Neill

Senior Group Website

Three Sister Ships – Brenden Conn, Dalton Shimmin, Robert Gardner, Edwin Aguirre of Arapahoe

Senior Research Papers

First – El Mozote: Political Exploration & Exchange – Julia Brionese of Lexington High School

Second – Harvey Milk – Danielle Rivera of Lexington High School

Third – Early Attempts at Integrating Major League Baseball – Antonio Stewart of Lexington High School

Alternate: Robert Henri’s Art – Yesenia Salas of Lexington High School


Source: James Rohrer, 308.865.8769,

Writer: Sara Giboney, 308.865.8529,