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Collaboration the key for history students

--- Four to attend national history competitioner

By Douglas Stewart/Contributor

(Published May 21, 2007, 12:33 p.m.)

Name a favorite sport at Elkhorn Area High School-softball, football, basketball. How about history?

That's the sport that will send Emily Welch, Lea Schoenberg, Joelle Jankowski and Lauren Rinaldi to the national competition at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md., from June 10-13.

The were joined by teammates Danielle Schmidt and Grace Park at UW-Madison on April 28, in the state finals of National History Day.

At the state competition in Madison, the four teammates tried something a bit different-and it sent them on to the nationals. What caught the eye of the judges was a performance piece by the four students.

"We reenacted the second Rowe vs. Wade Supreme Court hearing," said Emily Welch. "We added three fictional women to state our opinion." They even had Norma McCorbey, the original Roe, to give more background for their opinion.

And now they will present their project in Maryland at the national competition.

"We get to make our presentation and then do three days of sightseeing in D.C., hanging out with the rest of the Wisconsin teams," Welch said.

National History Day began in 1974 to encourage students to showcase their research.

"I heard about this in college, but I didn't know much about it then," said world cultures teacher Laura Montez. Montez coaches the Elkhorn history team.

After graduation, she took a job at McKinley Middle School in Kenosha. At McKinley, students were required to participate, and as a teacher and a historian, she was hooked.

Montez then moved on to Tremper High School in Kenosha and instituted the program there. Last year she started teaching at E.A.H.S. and started the program here.

"I am really proud of them," she said, "For all the time I have been involved in this program, this is the first time I've had kids go nationals."

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