CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today congratulated Illinois junior and senior high school students from Chicago who won awards during the National History Day competition held June 15 – 19 in College Park, Maryland. The contest is an annual event that features the best history students from across the country.
“We’re very proud of the students who used scholarship, ingenuity and Illinois’ rich heritage to earn these national awards,” said Gov. Blagojevich. “These outstanding students have demonstrated they have a bright future, by understanding our past.”
A group of students from Chicago’s Lindblom High School won the Association for the Study of African American Life and History Award and a $5,000 prize for their senior group exhibit, “Lindblom 1968.” The students are Lea Starling, Everett Murrell, Jon Murphy, and Jonathan Parnell, and their teachers are Michelle Wielgosz and Molly Myers. The students’ project details the transformation that occurred in their school in the 1960s as the Supreme Court pressured Chicago Public Schools to become more integrated in the wake of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision. Racial conflict broke out at Lindblom as increasing numbers of black students began to attend the predominantly white school. The award is given to the students who best address the experiences, contributions and perspectives of African Americans in U.S. history. The same group of students also placed among the top ten in the nation for their exhibit.
Also placing among the top ten in the nation in the junior individual exhibit category was Carl Arkebauer of Ogden Elementary School in Chicago, for his entry, “Evolution of Disability Rights in Chicago.” Adam Loredo is his teacher.
A performance by several students from Earhart Elementary School in Chicago was selected as the outstanding junior entry from Illinois. “Battling Racial Restrictive Covenants: Hansberry v. Lee Court Case” was a group performance by Anita Allen, Tariq Collins, Jer’Ray Hudgins, and Brianna Cato. Their teacher is Amanda Petrowsky.
The outstanding senior entry from Illinois was an individual performance. “Women’s Symphony Orchestra of Chicago” was performed by Josephine Lee of Lincoln Park High School, in Chicago. Her teacher is Sandra Keohler.
The Illinois winners were chosen to participate in the National History Day competition from among more than 1,400 students who competed during the Illinois History Expo held May 8 in Springfield. The History Expo and Illinois’ participation in National History Day are co-sponsored by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and the Chicago Metro History Education Center.