1997 Scholarship winners!
Student Winner: Amy Trauernicht
looking for a young person who has demonstrated leadership qualities
in the classroom as well as in student activities. This student
should have a standard of excellence in research contributions
to the study of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
The scholarship is $1000.00. We are proud to award our scholarship
this year to Amy Trauernicht.
Amy applied as a Senior at Noblesville High School in Noblesville,
Indiana. She wrote:
I have done that which only a select handful of students have
done, that being: interning with the JFK Assassination Records
Review Board. That great opportunity first occurred the summer
of 1996 and my assignment was to assist the press office. In
1997, the opportunity presented itself again. My duties became
a little more detailed when I was commissioned to work on a database
of declassified FBI files for the analysts' use. I finished that
task early and then helped finish an audio database that will
be available for use in the National Archives.
I also had an opportunity during the 1997 trip to do the Review
Board a favor. Its funds and time-limit were about to run out,
but they had the option of petitioning Congress for a one year
extension. I visited Congressman Burton, who is from my District,
and lobbied him. After the experience, wheels began turning and
the Review Board received its extension and an additional 1.6
million dollars in funding -- in a bill sponsored by Congressman
In preparation for my internships, I did much research, including
a debate of the single-bullet theory in my Honors U.S. History
course, but this year an interesting thing happened. As an extracurricular
activity, my classmates and I put the Warren Commission through
a mock trial. I was lead attorney in defense of the Commission
and a special attorney in charge of medical evidence, although
I tend to be more of a conspiracy buff.
Only a person who was enthralled with the assassination that
so profoundly shocked America could devote the time necessary
to properly research it and aid the agency that, as ARRB chairman
John Tunheim stated, "has given the American public an extraordinary
look inside their government."
While attending High School Amy participated in many activities
Literary Magazine, Layout Editor,
throughout high school
Swim Team, Jr. Varsity
State and International Science Fairs
School and Community Stage Productions,
Actor and Director
Mill Stream Newspaper, Editor, Senior
Speech Team President
Greater Hamilton County Jr. Miss Winner
1997 (Awarded $1600 scholarship)
Who's Who Among American Students
Faculty Scholarship Winner (Awarded
English Department Outstanding Student
throughout high school Award Winner
Social Studies Department Outstanding
Student throughout high school Award Winner
Speaker at Commencement Graduation
Amy is now a Freshman at DePauw University in Greencastle,
Her teacher, Bruce Hitchcock, wrote, "One student (Amy
Trauernicht) wrote her bill concerning the one-year extension.
I presented this in my testimony before the House Committee.
As a result she was made an honorary sponsor of the House bill
to extend the Review Board for an additional year."
Finalists for the 1997 Award were:
Kevin P. Chapman from Wakefield, MA, who is now attending
Suffolk University in Boston, MA.
Rebecca Evans from Sparks, NV, who is now attending
the University of Nevada-Reno in Reno, NV.
TEACHER WINNER: BRUCE HITCHCOCK
We wished to reward a teaching
professional who has demonstrated leadership and dedication in
teaching young people the assassination events in the classroom.
This teacher should have set a standard of excellence in research
for their students to strive for and personally contributed information
to the understanding of the murder of President John F. Kennedy.
Recognizing the need for ethical leadership in the 21st century
and the increasingly important role of teachers as leaders, JFK
Lancer offers the JFK Lancer Scholarship For Teachers who demonstrate
characteristics of leadership. The scholarship is $500 cash and
$100 value of research materials the selected teacher may choose
from our catalog. We are proud to award our scholarship this
year to Bruce Hitchcock.
Mr. Hitchcock is a 29 year teacher of Social Science at Noblesville
High School, Noblesville, Indiana, where he also serves as Department
Chairperson. In his application essay ,"How the JFK Assassination
Changed the World," he wrote:
In 1963 the United States and the Soviet Union were locked
in the struggle known as the Cold War. Tensions were high as
a result of events such as the Bay of Pigs invasion, Berlin,
and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Vietnam was becoming more of a
"brushfire" as some would decry it was the latest test
of the "domino theory." The world was watching the
United States and its young leader for responses to future foreign
policy situations as well as the brewing domestic civil rights
movement. The events in Dallas on November 22, 1963, changed
the world as changes were made in American leadership -- both
in style and substance.
If one supposes that American leadership translated to
world leadership during the Cold War, then the assassination
forever changed a myriad of events. If JFK had lived, would there
have been the presidencies of Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon or Ronald
Reagan? Would our involvement in Vietnam taken a different direction?
Would our relationship with the Soviet Union taken a different
course? Would the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights
Act of 1965 been passed in a Kennedy administration or did passage
require the leadership of a President from the South with strong
roots in Congress? Quite possibly leadership on a world stage
would have been markedly different with a second Kennedy administration.
The assassination certainly saddened much of the world. People
had looked to the United States and its energetic President to
take a more vigorous role in leading the fight for freedom around
the world. This hope was shaken by the removal of the man who
had so nobly spoken in his inaugural address about American leadership.
Kennedy said, "...let every nation
know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we will pay any
price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend,
oppose any foe to assure survival and success of liberty."
However, near the end of his presidency perhaps JFK was signalling
a new direction. His most memorable words came in the last months
of his life, in his speech on June 10, 1963, at the American
University. He called on the nation, in what was then a risky
and challenging change from years of hostility, to re-examine
its attitude toward the Soviet Union. "In
the final analysis," he declared, "our most basic common
link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe
the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are
all mortal." The United States and the world were
deprived of seeing the results of this proposed new course.
Mr. Hitchcock's explains his teaching activities:
Assigning his Jr. Honors U.S. history
class the project of placing the Warren Commission Report on
During the student's senior year,
Mr. Hitchcock ,through his Congressman, Dan Burton, and David
Marwell, Former Executive Director of the Assassination Records
Review Board, arranged, for the summer of 1995, an internship
opportunity with the Review Board for these students. To date,
five groups from Noblesville High School, totaling 56 students,
have interned with the Board.
In 1996 and 1997 students preparing
for the internship conducted similar trials during the school's
As a result of the publicity generated
by these activities, materials and hundreds of pages of documents
have been donated for use in the JFK assassination class studies.
Mr. Hitchcock was asked to testify
before the House Subcommittee on National Security, International
Affairs, and Criminal Justice concerning the Board's request
for their extension.
Noblesville's Board of School Trustees
have recognized Mr. Hitchcock's students by regularly hearing
presentations regarding their research and internship. Each has
been individually recognized by the board's adoption of a formal
John W. Ford, principal of Noblesville High School stated,"I
take a great deal of pride in presenting Bruce Hitchcock
to you as a master teacher, professional educator, and a friend
of many students as a candidate for the JFK Lancer Scholarship."
Finalists for the Teacher Scholarship were:
Russ Burr from Forest View Alternative School, Arlington
Heights, IL. Mr. Burr teaches a unit on Contemporary American
Issues with the starting point being the JFK assassination. This
opened many doors to learning about JFK's presidency and his
legacy to the world.
Gary Becker from Grover Cleveland High School, Buffalo,
NY. Mr. Becker is a 30 year teacher of U.S. Government and Economics,
Psychology and Sociology, and U.S. History. who has taught units
on the JFK assassination for the past seven years.
Read about the Assassination
Records Review Board
1998 Scholarship information
JFK Lancer information links