Peru State College
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News Release

Peru State to host 29th Annual District History Day Contest Wednesday, Feb. 27


(Peru, Neb.) Peru State College (PSC) will host nearly 300 students from eight area school districts at the 29th Annual District History Day Contest Wednesday, Feb. 27. This year’s theme is Turning Points in History People, Ideas and Events.

The contest begins at 9 a.m. in the College Theatre (located at the south end of Hoyt Science Hall) and will continue throughout the day with judging of entries taking place at numerous venues across campus. The day’s events will conclude with an award ceremony at 2:30 p.m. in the College Theatre. The public is invited to attend any or all portions of the contest. There is no admission fee.

Participating schools include Saint John the Baptist School (Plattsmouth), Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca Middle and High Schools, Johnson-Brock Public Schools, Pawnee City High School, Lourdes Central Catholic School (Nebraska City), Auburn Middle School, Nebraska City Middle and High School, and Plattsmouth Middle School.

History Day contestants will present their work in five different modes, including paper, performance, documentary, exhibit or Web site. Individuals and groups of two to five students will compete. The total number of entries this year is 173, a record.

First-place winners in each of the senior division categories will receive $500 “Tested for Excellence” tuition scholarships to PSC. Special awards will also be presented by the Peru Historical Foundation, Arbor Lodge, Nebraska City Museum Association, Mayhew Cabin and Nemaha County Historical Society.

The top three winners in each entry category will be eligible for the statewide contest held at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln on Saturday, April 20. The 2013 Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest will be held June 9–13 at the University of Maryland.
This year’s judging pool is comprised of more than 60 volunteer history enthusiasts, including community members, alumni, PSC staff and emeriti faculty. Each entry will be judged by a three-person panel that will review the prepared entry and then engage the students in a question and answer session about their research and presentation. The judging panels are assisted by PSC student volunteers. 

Dr. Sara Crook, PSC District History Day Contest director and history professor, said “This event would not be successful without the generous volunteer efforts of the judges, assistants and entire campus community. When you consider that every entry is reviewed by the judges and their assistants, the total hours donated reaches nearly 500. And yet every year many of the judges return to volunteer their services for this event because they love seeing the excitement in the students as they present their entries.”

Danielle Prchal, a senior secondary social science education major from Omaha, has assisted Crook as the assistant director of History Day this year, a competitive position. Crook, along with History Professor Dr. Spencer Davis, made the final selection of Prchal from a pool of applicants. She served as a judge’s assistant for the past two years.

Prchal said, “History Day benefits students from area schools in that it allows them a unique opportunity to explore and engage in history in different and exciting ways. The contest provides a chance for students to explore Peru State and interact with faculty and students who also get a day to celebrate history and inspire young minds to learn.”

For more information, visit or contact Crook at or 402-872-2279.