Posted Date: 04/06/2020
AUSTIN, TX (March 31, 2020)—West hosts its annual Labor Day festival, West Fest, which draws an estimated 40,000 visitors to the town that has a population of less than 3,000 people. Ennis hosts the National Polka Festival while Caldwell welcomes guests to its Czech Museum.
Fairview/Miss Jewell Elementary student Madelynn Gorres and her Junior Historians partner, Aiden Patterson, are very familiar with the Czexan heritage of Texas residents who have a Czech ancestry. The pair won first place at the Texas Junior Historian Conference in Austin.
“The preparation for the project was difficult. I researched the Czech culture in books, articles, websites, and museums. I learned so much about the Czech culture and how it impacts Texas today,” Gorres said. “It was exciting to win first place. There were so many other amazing projects at the convention that were milestones in our history.”
The Fairview/Miss Jewell Junior Historians Chapter is under the advisement of teachers Cristine Ragland and Teresa Gorres. Teresa Gorres received the Texas Sponsor of the Year Award and the David C. Deboe Memorial Award for her outstanding sponsorship of the school chapter.
“While researching their topics, these students gain not only knowledge, but a deep appreciation for the lessons that history has imparted,” Teresa Gorres said. “As their projects are viewed by others, they then become the teacher sharing details that most others are unaware of.”
Fairview/Miss Jewell Elementary was not the only CCISD school to capture top honors. Martin Walker Elementary Junior Historians, under the leadership of Teresa Garett and Catherine Sharbeno, captured multiple awards from first through fourth place with its student entries and also won Outstanding Chapter.
"Teaching the students how to conduct research to include choosing reliable sources, using local sources when possible, and how to cite their sources was challenging, but it was rewarding to see their projects come together,” Garrett said. “It was great to watch them work diligently on a project that was not for a grade.”
Copperas Cove Junior High Junior Historians also captured first place in the Group Documentary category under the advisement of history teacher Michael Morales.
While waiting for the judges’ decisions, students toured the state capitol building, visiting the vault that is located in the basement. They also toured the Bob Bullock Museum.
“I enjoyed seeing them grow as historians,” Garrett said. “I am really looking forward to fourth graders coming back and doing it again next year and seeing fifth graders move up to the junior high level of competition."