HOUSTON, TX (April 9, 2010) – Students from middle and high schools across Texas have been named as winners of the 2010 Yom HaShoah statewide Art, Writing and Video Contest for their efforts to document the stories of individuals who actively and bravely opposed the Holocaust as it happened.
The contest is held annually to help middle- and high-school students across Texas learn more about the Holocaust during World War II. The contest is timed to coincide with the international commemoration of Yom HaShoah, a day of remembrance for the 6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust. Yom HaShoah corresponds annually to the historical beginning of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising in 1943.
As part of this year’s contests, students were invited to submit art projects, videos and essays reflecting the theme “Upstanders in the Holocaust.”
“Upstander” is a recently coined term used to identify those who stood up for righteousness and fairness in the face of prejudice and hatred, rather than standing by. During World War II and the Holocaust, upstanders came in many different forms: as members of the Partisan military forces battling Nazi Germany in occupied lands behind the front lines to families throughout Europe who hid their Jewish neighbors from deportation and death.
In the video competition, first place went to Armand Fernandez-Pierre of Episcopal School of Dallas (Dallas, TX); second place went to Tom Blaney of Rogers Middle School (Prosper, TX); and third place went to John Marshall Lefferts, also of Episcopal School of Dallas.
In the writing competition for middle school students, first place went to Jacqueline Simmons of St. Francis Episcopal Day School (Houston, TX); second place went to Rollins Olmsted of Episcopal School of Dallas; and third place went Megan Rooney, also of Episcopal School of Dallas.
In the high school writing competition, first place went to Patrick Schaab of Quest Home School Co-Op (Howe, TX); second place went to Joseph McGowan, also of Quest Home School Co-Op; and third place went to Kate Gaddis of Nolan Catholic High School (Fort Worth, TX)
In the art competition for middle school students, first place was awarded to Samantha Cheung of Episcopal School of Dallas; second place went to Ulysses Trejo of Kennedale Junior High School (Kennedale, TX); and Alyssa Yates of Lorene Rogers Middle School (Prosper, TX) and Sydney Scott, also of Lorene Rogers Middle School, tied for third place.
In the high school art category, first place went to Dalton Barnard of Gatesville High School (Gatesville, TX); second place went to Rebecca Gomez of Gatesville High School (Gatesville, TX); and third place went to Seth Raspaldo, also of Gatesville High School.
Entries were judged in Dallas, Houston and El Paso by a committee of educators, professionals and museum members on adherence to the theme, historical representation, creativity and presentation.
First-place winners in each category received $100, second-prize winners received $75, and third-prize winners were awarded $50.
The competition was sponsored by the Texas Coalition for Holocaust Education, which includes Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance, El Paso Holocaust Museum & Study Center, The Holocaust Memorial of San Antonio, Holocaust Museum Houston, Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County and the North Texas/Oklahoma and Southwest Regional Offices of the Anti-Defamation League.
The competition was generously underwritten by The David Barg Endowment Fund, The Houston Council of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, Second Generation and the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs.
Holocaust Museum Houston is dedicated to educating people about the Holocaust, remembering the 6 million Jews and other innocent victims and honoring the survivors' legacy. Using the lessons of the Holocaust and other genocides, the Museum teaches the dangers of hatred, prejudice and apathy. Holocaust Museum Houston is free and open to the public and is located in Houston’s Museum District at 5401 Caroline St., Houston, TX 77004.
For more information about the Museum, call 713-942-8000 or visit www.hmh.org.