Roosevelt, Central Academy Students Qualify for National History Day Contest

Two Des Moines high school students, Elena Hildebrandt and Vaughn Hommerding, are state champions in this year’s State History Day competition and will advance to the National History Day contest in June.

Hildebrandt and Hommerding both attend Roosevelt High School and Central Academy. Hildebrandt will take her individual performance “Pearl McGill” to the national competition. Hommerding won in the website category for his original website entitled “Changing Minds, Opening Doors: The Impact of Psychotropic Medication.”

Twelve Central Academy students competed against students from all across Iowa in this year’s state History Day competition held at the State Historical Building on April 29.

This year’s History Day theme was ‘Turning Points in History.’ Central Academy teachers Canada Snyder, Amy Finnegan and Diane Morain organized the project to be cross curricular in AP US history and American Literature so students could learn the connections between research and historical writing, American literature and American history.

The National History Day competition will take place in College Park, MD on June 9-13.

National History Day (NHD) is an academic enrichment program that helps students discover historical issues, ideas, people, and events. This year-long academic adventure fosters students’ enthusiasm for learning and their love for history. The National History Day in Iowa program has been coordinated by the State Historical Society of Iowa since 1994. Major funding comes from the State Historical Society, Inc. of Iowa City, the Obermann-Beck Foundation, and the American Legion of Iowa Foundation.

Learn more about National History Day at