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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 20, 2006

Gov. Blagojevich announces 2006 Student Historians of the Year
16 Junior and senior high school students who had the best essays published in a statewide history magazine

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the 2006 Student Historians of the Year.  The 16 student historians are being recognized for their outstanding essays published in Illinois History magazine - the nation’s oldest history magazine written by and for junior and senior high school students.  The students published the essays during the past year in Illinois History magazine on topics ranging from “John Mason Peck, Zealot of Education” to “Michael Crichton’s Mark on the Science Fiction World” to “Sara Lee Bakery Group.” 
 
“These bright and talented students dug in to Illinois history and produced thoughtful and insightful essays,” said Gov. Blagojevich.  “Hopefully their work will give other Illinois students a better appreciation of our state’s rich heritage.”
 
The winning students wrote essays that appeared in the January, February and April 2006 editions of Illinois History magazine, a publication founded in 1947 and written by junior and senior high school students in the state.  It is published by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency’s Education Services Program, which also publishes Illinois History Teacher, a publication that contains teaching materials.  For more information, visit www.Illinois-History.gov and click on “Education Services.”
 
Four of the sixteen students were singled out for special recognition as having the best-written and -researched essays.  These four winners, who each receive $50 in prize money, are:
 
Senior Historical Research Award:  Katie Fearer
Oregon High School, Oregon
Teacher: Sara Werckle
“Ray Bradbury”
(February 2006)
 
Katie Fearer’s command of resources about Ray Bradbury is impressive; not only Bradbury’s famous Fahrenheit 451, but also critiques of his work were used.
 
Senior Historical Writing Award:  Bryce Parsons-Twesten
Belleville West High School, Belleville
Teacher:  Melissa Schmitt
“John Mason Peck, Zealot of Education”
(January 2006)
 
Bryce Parsons-Twesten assumed the challenge of writing about a too little known figure in our state’s history, John Mason Peck.  Bryce succeeded in writing an interesting and informative piece about this educator and writer.
 
Junior Historical Research Award:  Kelly Mover
University Laboratory High School, Urbana
Teacher:  Rosemary Laughlin
“Michael Crichton’s Mark on the Science Fiction World”
(February 2006)
 
Kelly Mover used several types of sources, the most impressive being two works by the subject of her essay, to write a well-informed article about the Chicago-born novelist, Michael Crichton. 
 
Junior Historical Writing Award:  Andrea D. Keyes
Washington Gifted School, Peoria
Teachers: Janelle Dies and Mindy Juriga
“Gwendolyn Brooks: Impacting Illinois One Reader at a Time”
(February 2006)
 
Andrea Keyes wrote not only a well-informed but engaging discussion of Gwendolyn Brooks’ poetry in the context of her life.  Keyes declares boldly at her essay’s beginning, “Writing style and inspirations from the past made a good poet a great one.”
 
Other Student Historians of the Year 2006
(All receive certificates)
 
Victoria Francis
Good Shepherd Lutheran School, Collinsville
Teacher: Michael Voss
“Olin Brass: A Blast from the Past”
(April 2006)
 
Brendan Kampwerth
All Saints Academy, Breese
Teacher: Stephanie Garcia
“The Kampwerth Farm”
(April 2006)
 
Abby Klaus
Washington Gifted School, Peoria
Teachers: Janelle Dies and Mindy Juriga
“Penicillin: ‘The Miracle Drug’”
(January 2006)
 
Maritza Mestre
University Laboratory High School, Urbana
Teacher: Stephen E. Rayburn
“Sara Lee Bakery Group”
(April 2006)
 
Gabe Smith
University Laboratory High School, Urbana
Teacher: Rosemary Laughlin
“Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451
(February 2006)
 
Andrew Weatherhead
University Laboratory High School, Urbana
Teacher:  Adele Suslick
“From the Flames to the Phoenix: The Physics Department at the University of Chicago”
(January 2006)
 
Robert J. Diehl
University Laboratory High School, Urbana
Teacher:  Adele Suslick
“Ad Majorem Ad Gloriam: The Founding of Loyola University of Chicago”
(January 2006)
 
Katie Ehrenwald
Danville High School, Danville
Teacher: Harith Tamimie
“A Little Stadium Can Affect a Community”
(April 2006)
 
Abeer Khurram
Carbondale Community High School, Carbondale
Teacher: Rivanna Abel
“Jane Addams: Author and Activist”
(February 2006)
 
Jackie Owensby
Oregon High School, Oregon
Teacher: Sara Werckle
“Illinois Wesleyan University”
(January 2006)
 
Allison Sargent
Rushville-Industry High School, Rushville
Teacher: Vicki Harrison
“Irene Hunt”
(January 2006)
 
Cory Turinette
St. Bede Academy, Peru
Teacher: Michael Balestri
“Edgar Lee Masters”
(February 2006)
 
The Illinois History Preservation Agency’s annual Illinois History Expo, scheduled for May 3 in Springfield, will showcase the papers, projects, exhibits and performances of nearly 1,400 of the top junior and senior high school history students in the state.


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