Fifteen eighth-grade students at St. Mary School in DeKalb, under the direction of Social Studies teacher Samantha LeBouef, received awards in this year’s Illinois History Fair, held May 8 in Springfield.
The annual event showcases middle school and high school student projects related to any historical topic in the state. Students can enter a website, a research paper or both.
Leilah Dudziak, Mallory Larson, Michael Stadler, Beatrice Hartman, Cameron Pedersen, Keegan Donnelly and Ethan Cohen all received an Excellent rating on their website submissions. Cameron Pedersen and Keegan Donnelly received an Excellent rating for their research papers.
Some of the projects received a higher distinction, a Superior rating, for their websites: Anna Dudziak, Andrew Grum, Madison Luce, A.J. Federici, Tom Hannon, Kennedy Shelley and Aidan Witthoff.
Kaitlyn Schatteman of DeKalb received a Superior rating for her research paper and website titled “How Betty Friedan Changed Women’s Rights.” Friedan, born in Illinois, wrote “The Feminine Mystique” and became a leader in the feminist movement beginning in the 1960s. As a co-founder of several organizations such as the National Organization for Women and the Women’s Political Caucus, Friedan engaged women in the idea of change. Friedan was inspirational to a generation of women showing them they could reach their full potential without giving up a family life.
Schatteman’s website (http://68364144.nhd.weebly.com/) is one of only two website submissions from junior high school students in the state to qualify for the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest to be held in Washington, D.C., on June 16. Students from across the United States, American Samoa, Guam, International Schools and Department of Defense Schools in Europe will meet for this competition.
NHD is a yearlong, nonprofit education program, focused on grades 6 through 12, that works with both students and teachers to improve the teaching and learning of history in schools. Each year, students present their historical research findings in the form of historical papers, exhibits, performances, websites and documentaries. The History Channel will webcast the NHD Awards Ceremony live from the University of Maryland between 7:30 and 10:30 a.m. June 19 at www.nhd.org.
St. Mary School, celebrating its 100th anniversary, is a Catholic school serving PreK through eighth-grade students. More information about the school can be found at www.stmaryschooldekalb.com.