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PLATTSMOUTH – Students from St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Plattsmouth did well at the district-level competition of National History Day recently, a school official said.

There were 16 students from the seventh and eighth grades who participated at the district competition on Feb. 22 at Peru State College with seven of them advancing to the state-level event on April 6 at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln.

This year’s national theme is “Triumph and Tragedy in History.”

National History Day program boosts students’ skills in critical thinking, research and writing. Students also learn to think like historians, exhibit their work in an authentic environment and take ownership of their project work.

Approximately 300 students from 10 schools in southeast Nebraska created History Day projects for the district contest. St. John the Baptist school has been participating in the National History Day contest for more than 25 years, according to Deb Walton, school marketing director.

St. John’s students who received awards included:

*RyAnne Carroll, eighth grade, with a documentary, “Edgar Allan Poe” that earned first place in Junior Individual Documentary category.

*Peyton Blankman and Isabella Hajek-Jones, both eighth grade, for their performance, “A Triumph Against the Current: The Life of Susan LaFlesche Picotte” that earned first place in Junior Group Performance category.

*Miles Poppleton and Jayger Haag, both seventh grade, for their project, “Andrew Poppleton: A Triumphant Voice for Human Rights.” Their project displayed a sword that was presented to Andrew J. Poppleton by General George Crook after the Chief Standing Bear trial in 1879. The project earned first place in the Junior Group Exhibit category and also received an Arbor Day Lodge Historical Park Special Award

*Matthew Zitek, eighth grade, and Emily Zitek, seventh grade, for their project, “The Transcontinental Railroad: The Triumph that Shaped America” that earned third place in the Junior Group Exhibit category and also received the Lewis and Clark “We Proceeded On” Award.

St. John’s eighth grade teacher Pam Reinsch provided guidance to students in their research and creation of projects, according to Walton.

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