Milwaukee Public Schools
Press Release

MPS student wins 1st place in national essay contest

Lorenzo Contreras returning tonight from trip to NYC to accept honors

By - Apr 11th, 2013 02:25 pm

MILWAUKEE (April 11, 2013) – Milwaukee Public Schools student Lorenzo Contreras is returning home Thursday evening after being flown to New York to accept first-place honors in the Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History’s Civil War Essay Contest.

Contreras, an 8th grade student at MPS’ U.S. Grant School, is the second student from the school to be flown to New York for the essay honor in two years. Last year, Vaughn Eviston-Jahnke, then an 8th grader at Grant, took second place nationally.

Contreras’ 2013 first-place essay examined non-combat deaths during the Civil War.

“Many Civil War battles were considered the bloodiest in U.S.,” he said. But while studying the war, he wondered about the other hazards soldiers faced.

He looked into the impact of disease and unsanitary conditions in Civil War camps.

“I wrote about medical procedures and the way soldiers died – not during battle,” Contreras said.

The 8th grader submitted the essay to the contest. Then a few weeks ago, the phone rang. The MPS student’s essay was tops in the nation.

“I couldn’t believe it,” he said from New York. “I feel honored to be here.”

The Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History partners with schools across the country – including more than a dozen MPS schools – to improve history education. More information is at www.gilderlehrman.org.

Grant teacher Carrie Felde, who taught both Eviston-Jahnke and Contreras, said the back-to-back honors were simply “amazing.” But the students did the work, she noted.

“I just guide them on research and how to search out documents,” she said.

Contreras and the other winners had the opportunity to tour a vault at the New York Historical Society containing significant historical documents.

MPS Superintendent Gregory Thornton congratulated Contreras, his family and his teachers, including Felde and social studies teacher Darryl Alms.

Contreras said after he moves on to high school, he hopes to return to Grant School to talk about his experience and the value of the contest.

Milwaukee Public Schools is Wisconsin’s largest school district, serving more than 78,000 students in more than 160 schools across the city. U.S. News and World Report named MPS’ Rufus King International School and Ronald Wilson Reagan College Preparatory High School the two best high schools in the state and among the 200 best in the country in 2012. In the past year, Milwaukee Public Schools posted a growing graduation rate 14 points higher than the rate for 2000. More MPS news is available at http://mpsmke.com/news.

Recent Press Releases by Milwaukee Public Schools - Page 13

Washington HS of IT 1 of 10 U.S. schools to win mobile app development program

MPS high school is the only school in the Midwest selected for the Lenovo Scholar Network

Milwaukee Public Schools

MPS Board update: Malcolm X update, budget approval, new charter school petition

At its October meeting, the Milwaukee Board of School Directors received an update on the plan for Malcolm X site, approved the final 2014-15 budget and approved a plan for a new charter school.

MPS hosting nearly 1,000 leaders from nation’s urban school districts

Challenges, best practices and reforms are the focuses of discussion at the Council of the Great City Schools annual conference

Photos: Manhattan Project scientist among 11 Washington alums set to join Hall of Fame

Photo gallery link below; new inductees include NFL player, entertainers, researchers, educators and the financial adviser whose story inspired the film "The Pursuit of Happyness"

Manhattan Project scientist among 11 Washington alums set to join Hall of Fame

Other new inductees include NFL player, entertainers, researchers, educators and the financial adviser whose story inspired the film "The Pursuit of Happyness"

Milwaukee Board of School Directors selects new Board Clerk/Director of Board Governance

Jaqueline Mann is an experienced MPS administrator, educator

MPS Board names Dr. Darienne Driver as permanent superintendent

First permanent female superintendent in the district

MPS partners with Marquette, MATC, GMDA to offer free dental exams for Head Start students

'Dental Day' set for Saturday, October 4 at MU Dental School

Milwaukee Public Schools
Milwaukee Public Schools

Malcolm X to house high-performing school

Legislative leaders misstate facts, ignore MPS efforts to place internationally recognized program in school

Malcolm X plans continue to move forward

MPS is moving forward with its plans to bring a high-performing school to the former Malcolm X Academy building.

15 MPS schools honored by the state for ‘Beating the Odds’

Schools have higher rates of poverty than three-quarters of the schools in Wisconsin and have above-average reading and math achievement compared to similar schools

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *