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Students compete with research projects during National History Day competition
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Students compete with research projects during National History Day competition

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Students compete with research projects during National History Day competition
Hannah Buaumgartner of St. Pats school in Onalaska anserws question on her historical display ask by judges at the National History Day competition at UWL. Dick Riniker photo

Much of Eleanor Roosevelt's life was a mystery to 11-year-old Hannah Baumgartner.

The sixth-grade student at St. Patrick's School in Onalaska knew of the former first lady's famous husband but that was about it, she said.

Research revealed a woman who dedicated her life to helping people, Baumgartner said.

"She worked for women's rights - voting and equal pay - and was involved in the civil rights movement," Baumgartner said.

Baumgartner presented her findings Wednesday to judges at the La Crosse Regional National History Day competition on the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse campus.

She used quotes, pictures and bullet points that captured Roosevelt's life to cover her exhibit board. An antique pin encouraging people to vote added the finishing touch.

The annual contest drew 346 middle and high school students - a record number - from 21 area schools, said UW-L professor Gregory Wegner, who coordinates the regional event. Top finishers in each category qualified for the state competition May 2 in Madison.

"It is designed to engage middle and high school students in historic research," Wegner said. Projects this year related to the theme "The Individual in History: Actions and Legacies."

Students this year delved into the lives of Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks, Walt Disney, Les Paul, Dr. Seuss, John Lennon, Mary Kay Ash, Milton Hershey, Elie Wiesel, Dracula, Wayne Peters and Harry Houdini.

Logan Middle School eighth-graders Quentin Lamers and Kyle Colburn found an athlete and civil rights activist that appealed to both their interests.

Tommie Smith won the 200-meter race in the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, but perhaps is best remembered for raising a black-gloved fist as the National Anthem played at his medal ceremony, along with bronze medal-winning teammate John Carlos.

The Olympic runner continued to defend his beliefs off the track, the 13-year-olds said. Their oversized salute included a DVD they made of Smith's life.

"We knew nothing about him when we got started," Lamers said.

"But we learned a lot," Colburn added.

National History Day state qualifiers

The following students qualified for the state National History Day competition Wednesday at the western Wisconsin regional competition:

Senior Individual Performance: Lynn Zabel, Lancaster High School, "Hands and Heart: The Story of Anne Sullivan"

Senior Group Performance: Shelby Henkelman and Mariah Deal, La Crosse Central, "Ethel Merman"; Desiree Peters, Marlana Parker and Brian Vargo, Bangor High School, "Fighting Bob"; and Lesley Whipple and Morgan Barton, Central High School, "Jonathan Larson: Life and Legacy."

Junior Individual Performance: Robert Lecheler, Holmen Middle School, "Albert Einstein: Rise of Genius"; Erin Petersen , School of Technology and Arts II, La Crosse, "Martha Graham"; Kresten Winger, School of Technology and Arts II, Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong."

Junior Group Performance: Rose von Muchow and Olivia Sasaki, La Crosse Lincoln Middle School, "Rachel Carson"; Gabbi Fasnacht, Jaclyn Johnson, Sydney Brock and Brianna Dahl, Holmen Middle School, "Uncovering the History of a Holocaust Hero"; Breanna Armstrong and Maranda Pientok, Holmen Middle School, "Molly Pitcher Steps into the Line of Fire to Fight a Man's Job."

Senior Individual Documentaries: Sarah Scott, Central High School, "Martha Graham: A Legacy of Dance"; Kailly Hilby, Bangor High School, "Saluting America Through Art"; and Matthew Eikamp, Cochrane-Fountain City High School, "Mozart: The Inaccessible Master."

Senior Group Documentaries: Katie Baures and Erica Willadsen, Cochrane-Fountain City High School, "Ada Deer: Living Legend"; Jordy McKay and Laura Cowen, Central High School, "Gaylord Nelson: Founder of Earth Day"; and Karl Wagner and Sara Ranscht, Central High School, "Ray Charles: The Man Behind the Soul."

Junior Group Documentaries: Jordan Dittmer and Peter Heglund-Lohman, Lincoln Middle School, "Buffalo Bill: An American Legend"; Hailey Imhoff and Sydney Neader, Holmen Middle School, "Henry Ford Overcome Failure to Produce a Legacy Like No Other"; and Ben Reimler and Sam Chilsen, Onalaska Middle School, "Jackie Robinson: His Impact on History."

Junior Individual Documentary: Lea Gilles, Lincoln Middle School, "I Am a Stranger on Earth: The Legacy of Vincent Van Gogh"; Rachel Lukas, Onalaska Middle School, "John Muir: America's First Environmentalist"; and Alahna Keil, School of Technology and Arts II, "Franklin Delano Roosevelt."

Junior Historical Papers: Stephanie Harpenau, Aquinas Middle School, "Mia Hamm: One of the Greatest Legacies of Women's Soccer"; Andrew Carlson, Holmen Middle School, "Connecting Two Worlds: Richard Nixon"; and Charles Labuzzetta, Holmen Middle School, "Charles Darwin and the Future of Evolution."

Senior Historical Papers: Annie Wermedal, Bangor High School, "Esther Peterson: Labor, Labels and Justice"; Rachael Conger, Bangor High School, "The Golden Age of Queen Elizabeth"; and Claudia Elvidge, Central High School, "Olympia Brown: First Woman Minister and Her Fight for Suffrage."

Senior Group Exhibits: Molly Groskreutz, Jay Voter, James Saxton and Isaiah Welsh, Central High School, "How the Other Half Lives: Jacob Riis-Writer, Photographer, Reformer"; Kali Burkhardt and Jenna Beron, Bangor High School, "One Survivor Remembers"; and Savanna Johnson, Maria Sanchez and Holly Gotz, Cochrane-Fountain City High School, "Speaking Through the Lens."

Senior Individual Exhibits: Samantha White, Cochrane-Fountain City High School, "Waging War for Basic Rights: Rose Schneiderman"; Erin Brenner, Central High School, "Isadora Duncan: A Pursuit of True Beauty"; and Benjamin Suhr, Cochrane-Fountain City High School, "Searching for an Underlying Order: Stephen Hawking."

Junior Individual Exhibits: Anna Brown, Longfellow Middle School, La Crosse, "Alice Paul: A Legacy of Women Leaders and Voters"; Anneliese Escher, Lincoln Middle School, "Lewis Hine: Exposing a National Disgrace"; and Quintin Lash, Melrose-Mindoro Middle School, "Mr. Civil Rights: Thurgood Marshall."

Junior Group Exhibits: Beth Ryan and Anna Siebenaller, Holmen Middle School, "Clara Barton: Angel of the Battlefield"; Maisie Tolzmann, Ashley Amundson and Kendra Nedegaard, Holmen Middle School, "Mary Kay Ash: The Beauty of Pink"; and Brianna Schwabenbauer and Nicole Pedersen, Holmen Middle School, "Susan B. Anthony: Failure is Impossible."

Senior Web sites: Libby Onsrud and Sarah Petri, Central High School, "Amber Hagerman: Her Legacy After Death"; Justin Scheel and Derek Nelson, Cochrane-Fountain City High School, "Love Burst Me Out: Rubin Carter"; and Chloe Miller Hanson and Alison Toetz, High Point Charter School, Sparta, "Sparta's Feminist: Kathryn Fredrick Clarenbach."

Junior Web sites: Joel Preeshl, Holmen Middle School, "Les Paul: The Genius that Made the Music of Today"; Sheridan McCoy, Holmen Ventures Charter, "Ronald Reagan: His Life and Legacy"; and Ben Truchan, Holmen Middle School, "Winston Churchill."

National History Day awards

The following earned awards Wednesday at the National History Day regional competition at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse:

The Wisconsin Labor History Society Labor History Award: Samantha White, Cochrane-Fountain City High School, for "Waging War for Basic Rights: Rose Scheiderman" and Annie Wermedal, Bangor High School, for "Esther Peterson: Labor, Labels and Justice."

Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department Women's History Award: Rose von Muchow and Olivia Sasaki, Lincoln Middle School, for "Rachel Carson"; Emily Culver, Sparta High Point Charter School, honorable mention, for "Jane Adams"; Kali Burkhardt and Jenna Beron, Bangor High School, for "One Survivor Remembers"; and Erin Brenner, Central High School, honorable mention for "Isadora Duncan: A Pursuit of True Beauty."

Marion A. McClure Award for Historical Papers: Andrew Carlson, Holmen Middle School, first place for "Connecting Two Worlds: Richard Nixon"; Charlie Labuzetta, Holmen Middle School, second place for "Charles Darwin and the Evolution of Evolution"; Claudia Elvidge, Central High School, first place for "Olympia Brown: The First Women Minister and Her Fight for Suffrage"; and Rachael Conger, Bangor High School, second place for "The Golden Age of Queen Elizabeth I."

Margaret Oehler-Davidson Local History: Cindy Vang, Onalaska Middle School, first place for "Black Hawk"; Joel Preeschl, Holmen Middle School, second place for "Les Paul: The Genius That Made the Music of Today"; Katie Baures and Eric Willadsen, Cochrane-Fountain City High School, first place for "Ada Deer: Living Legend"; and Adeline Yankova, second place for "Joseph McCarthy: The Actions of an Individual, the Legacies of a Decade."

Anna M. Warriner Performance: Gabbi Fasknacht, Jaclyn Johnson, Sydney Brock and Brianna Dahl, Holmen Middle School, first place for "Uncovering the History of a Holocaust Hero"; Robert Lecheler, Holmen Middle School, second place for "Albert Einstein: Rise of Genius"; Lynn Zabel, Lancaster High School, first place for "Hands and Heart: The Story of Anne Sullivan"; and Lesley Whipple and Morgan Barton, Central High School, second place for "Jonathan Larson: Life and Legacy"

B.C. Warriner Economic History: Anneliese Escher, La Crosse Lincoln Middle School, first place for "Lewis Hine: Exposing a National Disgrace"; Quintin Lash, Melrose-Mindoro Middle School, second place for "Thurgood Marshall: Mr. Civil Rights"; Carley and Bryce Peters, Westby High School, first place for "Wayne Peters and Organic Valley"; and Josh LeJeune, Central High School, second place for "Milton Hershey."

David Lawson II Fine Arts in History: Emriana Langreck, Holmen Middle School, for "Give Peace a Chance: John Lennon"; and Angela Whyte and Emily Ziegler, Cochrane-Fountain City High School, for "Marian Anderson: Voice for a Change."

Abraham Lincoln Award: Rebecka Schlesser, St. Patrick's School, Onalaska, first place for "Abraham Lincoln" paper; and Samantha Canady, Holmen Middle School, second place for "Abraham Lincoln" performance.

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