Essay Contest

Essay Contest

2018 Save Texas History Essay Contest

What History in your Community is Worth Saving?

Congratulations to the 4th and 7th grade grand prize winners of the 2018 Save Texas History Essay Contest!

Laila Prest - 4th Grade Winner – Menard, TX
The fourth- grade grand prize winner is Laila Prest, daughter of Amie Prest. Laila is a homeschooler in Menard. Laila’s essay was titled Menard, Texas: Honoring the Past, Looking to the Future, and discussed the importance of saving the overall history and culture of her community. Laila said, “We can save buildings, monuments, and historical sites, but saving a culture is a more difficult thing to do. When I look at paintings and photographs of my ancestors, I see seven generations of dedicated people working tirelessly to build a future for their families and community.”

Read Laila’s essay titled Menard, Texas: Honoring the Past, Looking to the Future

Cooper Caswell – 7th Grade Winner – Ira, TX
The seventh- grade grand prize winner is Cooper Caswell, son of J.J. and Laura Caswell. Cooper is in Ms. Anna Fonville’s class at Ira School in Ira, Texas. Cooper’s essay was titled Heritage Village of Scurry County, and it discussed how the “The village shows the rich history of development in our area through farming, ranching, transportation, oil field, and wind mills.” Additionally, Cooper said, “If I win this contest the money would go forward to helping pay for these repairs.”

Read Cooper’s essay titled Heritage Village of Scurry County


4th Grade

Madilynn Cox
Centerville Elementary School
Parents: Robert and Patricia Cox, Centerville
Teacher: Ms. Henson
Topic: The Pix Theatre

Danica Faith Amante–Mitchell
Caldwell Elementary School
Parent: Zillah Amante, Round Rock, TX
Teacher: Cynthia Hernandez
Topic: Pflugerville Colored Cemetery

Madelyn Cooner
Jefferson Elementary School
Parent: Jason Cooner, Avinger, TX
Teacher: Mr. Hoskins
Topic: The Jefferson Carnegie Library

Daniel Lanigan
Brandon Elementary School
Parent: Katherine Lanigan, Lufkin, TX
Teacher: Lorraine Dorman
Topic: Christmas Time in Lufkin

Celeste Bartelli
Doss Elementary School
Parent: Carolyn Bartelli, Austin
Teacher: Carole Wiley
Topic: Save Muny

7th Grade:

Clarissa M. Gonzalez
Del Rio Middle School
Parent: Bonita Gonzalez, Del Rio
Teacher: Mr. Munoz
Topic: San Felipe Springs

Jenna Liza Costilla
Trautmann Middle School
Parent: Veronica Vera, Laredo, TX
Teacher: Mr. Lopez
Topic: Forgotten Protector of Laredo

Timothy Lui

O. Henry Middle School
Parent: May Lui, Austin
Teacher: Amanda Moise
Topic: The Moonlight Towers in Austin

Addison Odam
Miller Middle School
Parent: C.J. Odam, San Marcos, TX
Teacher: Albert Villegas
Topic: Re-opening the Doors to the Old Church

Paisley Ploeger
Gonzales Junior High School
Parent: Bernadine Ploeger, Gonzales, TX
Teacher: Leigh Pirkle
Title: Terryville Lost in Time

About the Contest:

The Save Texas History Essay Contest encourages 4th and 7th grade students to answer an important question: "What history in your community is worth saving?"
Who: 4th & 7th Grade Students in public, private, and homeschool
What: Save Texas History Essay Contest. Answer the question, ""What history in your community is worth saving?"
When: Contest Starts September 1. Entries must be postmarked by November 14, 2018. Winners will be announced November 20, 2018.
Where: Across Texas and in YOUR community.
Why: Teach students about the importance of Texas history across the state, and in their own community.


The winning entries will each receive a cash award of $500 courtesy of Chris Cantu of Edward Jones Investments and Bob Eskridge of Just in Time Staffing, both from Round Rock. Grand Prize winners will also receive Texas flags that have flown over the Texas State Capitol. Five additional finalists in each grade will receive $100 courtesy of the Rotary Club of Austin and the Sons of the Republic of Texas, and a Texas flag that has flown over the northernmost point of the Republic of Texas (in present-day Wyoming). All winners and finalists will also receive Save Texas History backpacks and a replica of an historic map from the GLO Archives map collection, and a Certificate of Achievement signed by Commissioner Bush.