Crosby and Rockport showcased in grand prize-winning essay

Contact: Matt Atwood, Press Secretary - Texas General Land Office
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PRESS RELEASE — Dec 09, 2021

AUSTIN — Today, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush announced the winners of the 2021 Save Texas History essay contest. The two winners, fourth grade student Dominique “Nicky” McAnespy and seventh grade student Avi Ignacio Singleterry, were selected from among their peers with essays that highlighted each of their hometowns. The essay contestants were prompted to answer the question, “What history in your community is worth saving?”

“I am continuously inspired by the insight of these young Texans, having read their essays and learning about their passion for Texas history,” said Commissioner Bush. “Avi and Nicky both demonstrated a thorough knowledge of their hometowns, highlighting rich traditions and critical industries that have helped shape the identities of their communities. Congratulations to this year’s winners, the finalists, and all who participated in helping to tell the story of our state and saving Texas’ history.”

Dominique “Nicky” McAnespy of Crosby, Texas, attends Crosby Elementary School and is in Ms. Andrea Hartman’s class. In her essay, Crosby: A Texas Community History Worth Saving, Nicky explores the roots of Crosby that give life to the vibrant city. From its beginnings as a railroad town, to its ties with founding Irish immigrants, Czech traditions, and a post-Civil War community of freed slaves, Nicky illustrates her hometown’s important legacy of diversity and community.

The other grand prize winner is seventh grade student Avi Ignacio Singleterry of Rockport, Texas. Avi is a student in Mr. Robie Robbin’s class at Rockport-Fulton Middle School. Avi’s essay, Preserving Rockport’s Shrimping History, explains the impact of local shrimping and commercial fishing on the town’s culture and growth. Avi envisions an even brighter future for his town by preserving these critical industries in Rockport.

Each grand prize winner will be awarded a $500 gift card courtesy of Chris Cantu of Edward Jones Investments. The five finalists in each grade will receive $100 gift cards courtesy of the Moses Austin Chapter of the Sons of the Republic of Texas and Buck Cole. In addition, all winners and finalists will receive Save Texas History backpacks, a letter of appreciation signed by Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, and other items from the Texas General Land Office and essay sponsors. For more information on the contest, please visit the Save Texas History website.

Fourth Grade Finalists:

  • Jubilee Lawson
    Hometown: Waco, TX
    Topic: Waco Suspension Bridge 
  • Isabel Covey
    Hometown: Tyler, TX
    Topic: Rose Garden Center
  • Ava Richey
    Hometown: Omaha, TX
    Topic: Trammel's Trace
  • Claire Thompson
    Hometown: Burnet, TX
    Topic: The Bluebonnet Festival
  • Madeline Claire Rogers
    Hometown: Waco, TX
    Topic: Brazos River 

Seventh Grade Finalists:

  • Caroline Mistric
    Hometown: Houston, TX
    Topic: Maison Rouge
  • Kaia Morgan
    Hometown: Saginaw, TX
    Topic: Saginaw grain silos
  • Dominick Porter
    Hometown: San Antonio, TX
    Topic: Japanese Tea Garden
  • Carly Thompson
    Hometown: Burney, TX
    Topic: The Russell-McFarland Homestead
  • Looluwa Pitolwala
    Hometown: Houston, TX
    Topic: The Cadillac Ranch

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 were judged on originality of idea, cohesiveness of thought and organization. Proper grammar, spelling and punctuation were also taken into account. 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. Follow Save Texas History on Facebook and Twitter. You can also follow the Texas General Land Office on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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