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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 23, 2008

Gov. Blagojevich announces 2008 Student Historians of the Year
Fourteen junior and senior high school students have the best essays published in a statewide history magazine

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the 2008 Student Historians of the Year - fourteen student historians who 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 immigration to communications to the Lincoln-Douglas Debates. 
 
“These carefully researched and well-written essays about our past give us hope for the future, because they showcase the wisdom and insight of our young people,” said Gov. Blagojevich.
 
The winning students wrote essays that appeared in the January, February and April 2008 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 14 students were singled out for special recognition as having the best-written and best-researched essays.  These four winners, who each receive $50 in prize money, are:
 
·                    Robert J. Diehl, University Laboratory High School, Urbana.  Robert won the Junior Research Award for his essay, “Forging a Pan-Ethic Identity:  The Founding of the Asian American Studies Program at the University of Illinois.”  His teacher is Adele Suslick.
 
·                    Jamie Ehrenpreis, Niles North High School, Skokie.  Jamie won the Senior Research Award for her essay, “Yiddish Theater:  A Hope in the Face of Hardship for Eastern European Jewish Immigrants in Chicago, 1880s to 1940s.”  Her teacher is Sarah Stucky.
 
·                    Brian Wang, University Laboratory High School, Urbana.  Brian won the Junior Writing Award for his article, “Immigration Essay:  Chinese Heritage School.”  Adele Suslick is his teacher.
 
·                    Morgan O’Neil, Carbondale Community High School.  Morgan won the Senior Writing Award for her article, “Lincoln vs. Douglas Debate:  A Fight for Basic Human Rights.”  Nick Weshinskey is her teacher.
 
The ten other Student Historians of the Year for 2008 all receive certificates.  They include:
 
·                    Amanda Hamrick, Hiawatha Junior High School, Kirkland.  “Battling at Galesburg:  A New Wind Blows.”  Teacher:  Todd Johnson.
 
·                    Dominic Antonacci, All Saints Academy, Breese.  “Eric Jansson, the Pathway for Swedes to America.”  Teacher:  Stephanie Garcia.
 
·                    Austin Kuhl, All Saints Academy, Breese.  “Robert A. Abbott – A Voice for Black Americans.”  Teacher:  Stephanie Garcia.
 
·                    Sarah E. Strauss, Washington Gifted School, Peoria.  “The Chicago Tribune’s Coverage of the Great Chicago Fire.”  Teachers:  Mindy Juriga and Janelle Dies.
 
·                    Katie Anderson, Good Shepherd Lutheran School, Collinsville.  “The Final Debate.”  Teacher:  Michael Voss.
 
·                    Shuangyi Hou, Carbondale Community High School.  “Watergate and the Chicago Tribune:  Exposing the Truth.”  Teacher:  Nick Weshinskey.
 
·                    Quentin White-Westerfield, Carbondale Community High School.  “Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable.”  Teacher:  Nick Weshinskey.
 
·                    Jessica Weller, Oregon High School.  “Immigration in Mount Morris and the Surrounding Areas.”  Teacher:  Sara Werckle.
 
·                    Erica Kirk, Danville High School.  “Black Newspapers in Danville, Illinois.”  Teacher:  Harith Tamimie.
 
·                    Luke Peters, Oregon High School.  “Freeport Lincoln-Douglas Debate of August 27, 1858.”  Teacher:  Sara Werckle.            
 
The Illinois History Preservation Agency will recognize numerous other students from across the state who have excelled in history during the annual Illinois History Expo scheduled for May 8 in Springfield.  This event showcases the papers, media presentations, projects, exhibits and performances of nearly 1,400 of the top junior and senior high school history students in Illinois.


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