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Simms scholars excel

Great Falls Tribune • April 11, 2005 • Great Falls, Montana

by Paula Wilmot

From left: Heidi Tynes, Crystal Tetzel, and Jessica Eastley. These three students, along with Neah Parshall, will serve as ambassadors for the Montana Heritage Project in Washington, D.C. They will present their research project to Librarian of Congress James Billington on May 4. Photo by Michael L. Umphrey.

Four Simms High School students and their teachers have been selected to represent the Montana Heritage Project at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., next month.

“The Heritage Project has become a model nationwide to involve students in their communities. We all are very pleased that these great Simms scholars will be our ambassadors in Washington,” said Michael Umphrey, director of the project.

Simms senior Heidi Tynes, and juniors Neah Parshall, Crystal Tetzel and Jessica Eastley, along with their teachers Dorothea Susag, Jenny Rohrer and Josh Clixby were selected for the honor during the recent Youth Heritage Festival in Helena. They will meet with Library of Congress librarian James Billington on May 4.

They will represent several hundred students in 10 other Montana high schools across the state who participate in the project. Since its inception, more than 5,000 students statewide have participated in the project, which is administered by the Montana Historical Society. In the case of the work done in Simms, the group will represent 43 students and nine teachers, as well as 13 community members who served as mentors during the life of the project.

Student and teacher peer evaluators, and outside reviewers ranked Simms’ stage presentation, display board and research essays of their yearlong study of transportation in the Sun River Valley as the best project.

Working across curriculum lines, Simms students compared prehistoric Old North Trail use with today’s Interstate 15 travel, and studied the impact of rail line closing in the Sun Valley.

The Montana Heritage Project was founded a decade ago by the Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation in partnership with the Library of Congress, the Montana Historical Society, and the Office of Public Instruction.

The students and their teachers will spend an hour with Billington and present a computerized slide summary of their work and read excerpts from their research papers.

They will spend the rest of the day with the Library of Congress staff touring the library and learning more about original research.

Posted by Katherine Mitchell
on 04/18 at 02:50 PM
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