Eighth grader Halie Vermillion and seventh grader Annika Boonstra of Oskaloosa Christian School in Oskaloosa, Iowa, were selected as state finalists in the Iowa National History Day competition in Des Moines on April 25. The students and their social studies teacher, Renee Van Kooten, went through rigorous preparations to be ready for the local, regional, and state competitions.
“We held a school contest to select nine students to represent our school at the district level, which is hosted by our area education agency (Great Prairie AEA),” said Van Kooten. “There were only supposed to be two junior individual exhibits that advanced to state from our AEA area, but three were chosen, including both Halie and Annika, to advance to state.”
Halie’s project, “Tracks to a Brighter Future,” focused on the Orphan Train, and was awarded "Most Creative Project" of the state competition.
Annika and her project, “Transcontinental Railroad: Connecting the Country,” will go on to compete in the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest, to be held in College Park, Maryland, in June. This is the first time a student from Oskaloosa Christian has gone to nationals.
Award Winning Smile at Oskaloosa
AnnaBelle Carter, a first grader from Oskaloosa Christian School in Oskaloosa, Iowa, received the “Smile of the Year” award from Inter-State Studio. AnnaBelle’s smile was one of three winners among all students nationwide who were photographed during the 2015–2016 school year by Inter-State Studio. On April 19, Brandon Pinkston from Inter-State Studio visited Kari Sytsma’s first grade classroom to recognize AnnaBelle for her winning smile. She received an 8x10 framed photo and a $75 Amazon gift card.