DATE: 5/8/2017

Jenny Bowen, Director of Communications
Humboldt County Office of Education
901 Myrtle Avenue
Eureka, CA 95501
(707) 445-7767


Colleen Toste, Managing Director
Rising Stars Foundation
901 Myrtle Avenue
Eureka, CA 95501
(707) 445-7164

Local Students Named State History Champions, Advance to Nationals

       The Humboldt County Office of Education's Rising Stars Foundation supported 72 
Humboldt County History Day champions to compete at California State History Day, held 
May 6-7, in Rocklin.  With a 2017 theme of “Taking a Stand in History”, over 1,200 top history 
students from throughout the state participate in the rigorous competition that featured 
multiple rounds.  
       Ultimately, a total of 27 local students – the largest number ever - earned recognition 
(last year’s number was 14), including State Champions Gavin Brooks and Conner Johnson, 
8th graders from Zane Middle School, for their project titled, “Sun & STAX: Record Labels 
That Defied Segregation and Created Integrated Classics” (  
Brooks and Johnson will travel to the University of Maryland to compete at National History 
Day June 11-15.
       Please click the link below for a list of all Humboldt students who received recognition at 
State History Day.

       In addition to the Rising Stars Foundation, other local organizations/individuals who 
sponsored student travel to Rocklin were Fortuna Sunrise Rotary, Rotary Club of Arcata 
Sunrise, Humboldt County League of Women Voters, Humboldt Sponsors, Emmett Till 
African American History Award, John H. Gross Native American Award, and Alex & Andrea 
       Each February, hundreds of students in 4th grade through high school compete in 
Humboldt County History Day, held at Humboldt State University. Through the process of 
researching and preparing creative and original History Day projects, students learn and 
analyze issues, ideas, people and events in history and apply that knowledge to their 
projects, reflecting that year’s National History Day theme.  Students can participate 
individually or in groups, and up to 100 students are selected as Co-Champions each year.
       The Rising Stars Foundation is a non-profit program established to promote and 
recognize excellence.  In addition to 10 countywide events, the Foundation sponsors related 
travel to regional, state, and national events.  Ongoing community donations of any amount 
are appreciated, and 100% of every tax-deductible dollar donated goes directly to 
benefitting local students.  
       To directly support Gavin and Conner’s trip to National History Day, please contact 
Rising Stars Foundation Managing Director Colleen Toste at 707-445-7164 or  For more information about the Foundation, visit