Twelve St. Mary School students qualified for the Illinois State History Fair on May 3 and two of those students will compete at the 2012 Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland in June.

The team of Jonathan Kulhanek and James Herdegen was one of just two teams at the state competition chosen from a field of 150 to advance to the national event. Their presentation “Race, Poverty and the Struggles of CPS” focused on how problems persist in the Chicago Public Schools despite numerous attempts to reform the system and compared the schools to suburban counterparts.

Five additional St. Mary teams won blue ribbons for their superior work, including Maggie Shereck and Amanda Milleker (early history of Chicago Tribune), Shannon Donnelly and Maragret Lyons (Columbian Exposition), Erin Lattner and Liucija Siliunas (the impact of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle), Maeve Cawley (Haymarket Riot), and Sarah Austin and Alexis Woywod (Our Lady of Angels fire).

Katherine Cawley also researched the Our Lady of Angels fire and was awarded a red ribbon.