Fifty-three students from across Nebraska competed at the virtual National History Day, held the second week in June. The state contest was in early April at Nebraska Wesleyan University, thirty-three entries qualified for the national competition.
2,709 students competed at the National History Day contest from 870 schools across the United States, US territories, and abroad US military schools. Students submitted 1,582 projects to the national contest based on this year’s theme, “Debate and Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, and Consequences.”
2022 National History Day results
Two Nebraska entries were selected for a special showcase, and one award was announced at the ceremony held on Saturday, June 18.
• Students Eva Jaixen and Olivia Fitzgerald from Loup City Public Schools received the United State Marine Corps History special award for their group website titled “Diplomacy of the Iranian Hostage Crisis: Successes, Failures, and Consequences.” Their teacher was Kim Henry.
• Student Lauren Buban of Westside High School in Omaha represented Nebraska in the National Museum of American History Virtual Showcase with her entry titled “Chief Standing Bear: The Ground Breaking Debate for Native American Rights.” Shelby Sedlacek was her mentor for this project.
• Student Anna Moeller’s Junior Individual Documentary entry titled “Little Rock Nine” was selected for the virtual showcase sponsored by the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Anna attends Lewis and Clark Middle School in Omaha; her teacher was Melissa Shrago.
Three juniors placed first in their room and advanced to National History Day’s final round. The final round represents a select group of students who rank in the top 10% of their category. Entries included:
• Sophia Wortmann of St Rose of Lima in Crofton; Junior Individual Performance: “The Fool Soldiers: Negotiating for White Captives in the Dakota Uprising of 1862”; Wortmann’s teacher was Ginger Schieffer.
• Katie Neuharth and Lauren Loecker of St Rose of Lima in Crofton; Junior Group Performance: “Standing Bear vs Crook: The Debate to Be Called Human”; Their teacher was Ginger Schieffer.
CeCi Urbanski’s Senior Individual Documentary titled “‘I, too, am America’: A Debate over Black Identity” was selected as the Nebraska affiliate outstanding Senior entry. Urbanski attends Marian High School in Omaha; her teacher is Jessica Goodman.
Sophia Wortmann’s Junior Individual Performance titled “The Fool Soldier: Negotiating for White Captives in the Dakota Uprising of 1862” was also selected as the Nebraska affiliate outstanding Junior entry. Wortmann attends St. Rose of Lima in; her teacher is Ginger Schieffer.
The theme for 2023 is “Frontiers in History: People, Places, Ideas.” District contests in Nebraska will take place in February and March of 2023; the Nebraska state contest will take place on Saturday, April 1.
Fees for participating in Nebraska are intentionally kept affordable and are often paid by the school the student attends.
NWU Associate Professor of History Steven Wills is the Nebraska History Day coordinator; and NWU Community Engagement and Resources Coordinator Shari Sorenson is the event coordinator for the Nebraska program. Each Nebraska contest is sponsored by a college or university; the state program and contest are funded in part by Humanities Nebraska, the D.F. Dillon Foundation, and Nebraska Wesleyan University.