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Texas Finalists at National History Day 2002

Texas students put on their usual strong showing at last year's National History Day competition, held at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland, on June 9-13, 2002.

Three entrants from the Lone Star State captured individual honors and four finished second in the nation in their respective categories. In addition, a total of fifteen Texas entries were recognized as finalists.

Rebecca Baird of Cypress Springs High School in Cypress (Joan Miertschin, teacher) won the Labor History Award for "In America They Don't Let You Burn," which was also a finalist in the senior individual exhibit category.

Jason Harbin and Brian Bentson of Thornton Middle School in Katy (Cassie Johnson, teacher) won the Civil War History Award for "John Brown … His Soul Goes Marching On," which was also a finalist in the junior group exhibit category.

Katherine DiSimoni of Copperas Cove High School in Copperas Cove (Dina Williamson, teacher) won the Case Western Reserve University scholarship. She, Crystal Crowder, Kelly Lockhart, and Nichole Vitucci won second place in the senior group exhibit category for "Comrades No More."

Other second-place winners included:

  • Edward Libranda and Ricky Patel of Nimitz High School in Houston (Jennifer Murray, teacher), "¡Huelga!" (senior group documentary)
  • Ivah Cantu, Christopher Ramos, Lindsay Ramos, and Frank Salinas, Jr., of Falfurrias High School in Falfurrias (Imelda Cantu, Tom Welsh, and Sharon Wilson, teachers), "The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911: A Leap to Reform" (senior group performance)
  • Bao Le of Eisenhower High School in Houston (Debra Brown, teacher), "When Giants Collide" (senior individual documentary)

In addition to those mentioned above, the following Texas entries were finalists in their respective categories:

  • David Toney of Gentry Junior School in Baytown (Hal Davis, teacher), "Dietrich Bonhoeffer: The Ultimate Sacrifice" (junior individual performance)
  • Delaney Elliott of Lanier Middle School in Houston (James Maxwell, teacher), "Maud Gonne: Ireland's Joan of Arc" (junior individual performance)
  • Leah George, Tranel Jones, Nathaniel Journey, John Pelebo, and Josh Truesdell of Copperas Cove Junior High School in Copperas Cove (Danny Corbett, teacher), "A Quiet Revolution" (junior group performance)
  • John Laue of Beck Junior High School in Katy, "Sputnik's Red Glare" (junior individual documentary)
  • School in Arlington (Lauri Rule, teacher), "Japanese American Internment: A Reaction That Will Live in Infamy" (junior group documentary)
  • Alissa Coleman, Heather Scherrer, and Katie Tucker of Goodson Middle School in Cypress (Terry Noe, teacher), "Who Really Dunnit? DNA's Role in Forensic Science" (junior group documentary)
  • Jenny Fu, Ashwini Mehta, Huong Nguyen, and Jenny Tran of Eisenhower High School in Houston (Debra Brown, teacher), "A Revolution Redefined: International Reaction to Castro's Reforms in Cuba" (senior group exhibit)
  • Laura Mengheang of Jersey Village High School in Houston (Nancy Williams, teacher), "The Trial of John Peter Zenger: A Revolution in Freedom of the Press" (senior paper)
  • Katherine Unverferth of Goodson Middle School in Cypress (Terry Noe, teacher), "The One Man Revolutionary Force" (junior individual exhibit)

In addition, Katherine Unverferth and Rebecca Baird were named best in the state for the junior and senior categories respectively.

The following outstanding Texas entries also qualified for National History Day:

  • Amanda Randolph of La Vernia Middle School in La Vernia (Boyd Harrison, teacher), "In a Nutshell: The Pecan Shellers' Strike of 1938" (junior paper)
  • Sylvia Sun of T. H. Rogers Middle School in Houston (Jean Price, teacher), "Zenger's Trial: Free Press Revolution" (junior paper)
  • David Weng of Cypress Falls High School in Houston (Linda Black, teacher), "The Chinese Cultural Revolution" (senior paper)
  • Jessica Coburn of Copperas Cove High School in Copperas Cove (Dina Williamson, teacher), "A Man on a Mission" (senior paper)
  • Daniel Compton of Aldine Middle School in Houston (Tim Mrazek, teacher), "David Bushnell's Revolution" (junior individual documentary)
  • Saima Malik of Eisenhower High School in Houston (Debra Brown, teacher), "Unity, Solidarity … Reform!" (senior individual documentary)
  • Grant Berger, Davis Gibbs, and Annie Wyman of Highland Park High School in Dallas (George Rislov, teacher), "The Gay Rights Revolution: A Struggle for Equality" (senior group documentary)
  • Natalie Ashcroft, Cecilia Cerana, and Tatum Waughtal of Spring Forest Middle School in Houston (Carol Hanson, teacher), "Gutsy Gals: The Road to Equality" (junior group performance)
  • Melanie Aston, Sara Franco, Tara Grigg, and Linda Martino of Jersey Village High School in Houston (Nancy Williams, teacher), "Asch! Asch! We All Fall Down" (senior group performance)
  • James Tison of North Crowley High School in Fort Worth (Mary Ann Nelson, parent), "Castro's Revolution: The Cold War Games" (senior individual performance)
  • Martin Nguyen of Eisenhower High School in Houston (Debra Brown, teacher), "José Martí: The Apostle of Cuban Independence" (senior individual performance)
  • Thomas Miller of Lake Air Middle School in Waco (Pearline Halsell, teacher), "The East Texas Oil Boom: Oil Fever Explodes in Boom to End All Booms" (junior individual exhibit)
  • Ryan Saenz of Falfurrias High School in Falfurrias (Alex Richards and Sharon Wilson, teachers), "The American GI Forum: A Step Towards Equality" (senior individual exhibit)
  • Mark Blackburn, Justin Hardison, Chris McMahill, and Daniel Waggoner of Copperas Cove Junior High School in Copperas Cove (Danny Corbett, teacher), "Rebel Radio" (junior group exhibit)

All the Texas students mentioned above competed in the twenty-second annual Texas History Day held in Austin on May 10-12. The state contest, which is co-sponsored by the Texas State Historical Association and the UT Austin Center for Studies in Texas History, showcases the research of more than 800 students from schools throughout Texas.

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