Commissioner Bush announces winners of the Save Texas History Essay Contest

Texas students answer the question: What history in your community is worth saving?

Contact: Brittany Eck
(512) 463-5708
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PRESS RELEASE — Nov 17, 2017

AUSTIN — Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush today announced the fourth- and seventh-grade winners of the 2017 Save Texas History Essay Contest, sponsored by the Texas General Land Office's Save Texas History Program. The Essay Contest encourages students to answer the question, "What history in your community is worth saving?" You can read the two winning essays

"As a former history teacher, it's especially rewarding to encourage students to learn more about our state's rich history by participating in the annual Save Texas History Essay Contest," said Commissioner Bush. "I want to thank all students who submitted essays as well as the teachers and parents who encouraged them to participate. The submissions were thoughtful and creative examples of how future generations of Texans appreciate the rich history in their local communities and around the state. Congratulations to everyone who won and to all who participated."

The fourth- grade grand prize winner is Allison Wade, daughter of Nicholas Wade. Allison is in Ms. Mayfield's class at Reeves Hinger Elementary in Canyon. Allison championed a weather-beaten community advertisement icon named "Tex Randall" as her subject that's worth saving. Allison said, "We live in a world where people just throw away their history. Well that needs to change. I have decided to make change happen."

The seventh- grade grand prize winner is Jalynn Bristow, daughter of Kat Bristow. Jalynn is in Ms. Howell's class at McNiel Middle School in Wichita Falls. Jalynn eloquently described the uniqueness and importance of the Kell House museum to the community of Wichita Falls. Jalynn said, "Local history is not taught in our schools, so if we want to learn about our community, we need to save the places that teach us about it."

The winning submissions earn these two accomplished essayists a $500 cash prize courtesy of Chris Cantu of Edward Jones, and Bob Eskridge of Just In Time Staffing; a Texas flag that flew over 7 Texas historical sites including Gonzales, Mission Concepcion, La Villita/Cos House, The Alamo, Goliad, and San Jacinto courtesy of the Moses Austin chapter of the Sons of the Republic of Texas. The winning entries plus five finalists in each grade level will receive Save Texas History backpacks and a commemorative plaque featuring reproductions of artifacts from the Texas Revolution courtesy of the Sons of the Republic of Texas - Moses Austin chapter; certificates of appreciation signed by Land Commissioner George P. Bush, and a historic map reproduction from the Land Office map collection. The names of all finalists appear on the Save Texas History website at

The fourth- grade finalists are:

Auden Morales

Wilbur E. Lucas Elementary, Hidalgo

Parent: Josie Arellano

Teacher: Ms. Saldana
Topic: Borderfest, an annual four-day event

Grace Tipping

Salado Intermediate, Salado

Parent: Traci Tipping

Teacher: Madison Farnham
Topic: The Secret Tunnels of west Fort Hood

Josephine Johnson

Montclair Elementary, Corpus Christi

Parent: Cora Johnson

Teacher: Mrs. Gonzales
Topic: Saving the USS Lexington

Eloise Atterberry

Barton Hills Elementary, Austin

Parent: Melissa Atterberry

Teacher: Ms. Geltemeyer
Topic: The Stitch Lab, a business in Austin

Leilah Uribe

Pittman Elementary, Raymondville

Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Uribe

Teacher: Mrs. Reyna
Topic: Iglesia Santa Pentecostes, Raymondville


The 7th grade finalists are:

Ashton J. Bailey

Miller Middle School, San Marcos

Parent: Cheryl K. Bailey

Teacher: Tamar Collins
Topic: Gruene Hall, New Braunfels

Isabella Gutierrez

Keefer Crossing Middle School, New Caney

Parents: Cassie Frausto

Teacher: Andrew Pearson
Topic: The Story of Us

Natalie Pham

Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic School, Richwood

Parent: Vincent Pham

Teacher: Rosselle Sanchez
Topic: The International Bacon Festival, Houston

Hayden Jeanise

Grace Covenant Academy, Frisco

Parent: Erica Jeanise

Teacher: Debra Rolfe
Topic: The Nelson Hotel, Celina

Daniella Moreno

McAdams Junior High School, Dickinson

Parent: Alvaro Moreno

Teacher: Mr. Robinson
Topic: The Galveston Seawall


All public, private and home-schooled students of appropriate age for the fourth grade or seventh grade were eligible to participate. Essays for the annual contest are judged on originality of idea, cohesiveness of thought and organization. Proper grammar, spelling and punctuation also counted.


The Texas General Land Office Save Texas History™ program is a statewide initiative to rally public support and private funding for the preservation and promotion of more than 35 million historic maps and documents. With the twin goals of preservation and education, the Save Texas History program seeks to conserve these documents for future generations and educate Texans about the rich heritage found in these vital records. For more details, visit


You can follow Save Texas History at and Twitter at Follow the Texas General Land Office on Facebook at Twitter at, or YouTube at

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