Students at Waukon High Win Video Contest

Students at Waukon High win video contest

Best video outlines the plots of four popular Shakespeare plays
By Jennifer Masada, University of Iowa Libraries

Students at Waukon High School created the winning video in a contest sponsored by the University of Iowa’s School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) and inspired by the University of Iowa Libraries’ Shakespeare at Iowa festival this fall. The contest, titled “All the World’s a Stage,” challenged students across Iowa to create a video about Shakespeare.

The top video, titled The Best of Shakespeare, takes viewers on a quick tour of Shakespeare’s most beloved plays, summarizing the plots in general audience terms. Students wrote the script, directed the scenes, acted in the video, and provided all production for the video, which packed all the action into just under three minutes.

The Waukon students’ research, creativity, and hard work netted their high school a $2000 cash prize from SLIS, to be used to fund Waukon’s school library.

A video created by a student at Decorah High School received runner-up honors and a $1000 prize for their school library. Titled Learning to Love, this video shares stories of struggle with love, self-identity, and coming out.

In under five minutes, this video shows strength in vulnerability through real-life experiences, as well as those portrayed in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night—a story that prompted the videomaker to discover the importance of self love.

David Eichmann, director of the School of Library and Information Science and Christine Kolarik, coordinator of the Teacher Librarian Program presented the awards to students, teachers, and teacher librarians on Wednesday, December 14, 2016 at their respective schools.

The video contest was one of over 80 special events offered by the University of Iowa Libraries this fall, as it hosted First Folio! The Book That Gave us Shakespeare, a traveling exhibit honoring Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary.

Throughout the month of September, an exhibit in the Main Library Gallery offered a rare opportunity to view the First Folio and provided a backdrop to engage Iowa’s K12 students in learning about Shakespeare, his work, and why he is still relevant today. Although the gallery exhibit closes December 30, 2016, an ongoing online exhibit can be viewed at

The SLIS-sponsored video contest, open to all Iowa students, was designed to be a student driven, active, and creative endeavor, prompting them to learn about Shakespeare and “get their Shakespeare on.” SLIS trains teacher librarians in their accredited masters program, and the contest engaged students with their local school libraries, many of which are overseen by SLIS alums.

SLIS received a remarkable number of entries, submitted by students from across the state. Videos were judged on their creativity, connection to Shakespeare and his works, and adherence to contest rules.

The winning videos, students, teachers, and schools are:

Winner ($2000) - Waukon High School

Teacher – Louise Wild
Name of Video – The Best of Shakespeare

Students –
Mary Vander Velden
Andrew Mellick
Megan O’Neill
Michael Headington
Micah Trepton
Nate Helgerson
Emma Roe
Robert Drew
Nicole Campbell
Taya Duehr
Cayla Nolting
Hunter Seigenthaler

Honorable Mention ($1000) - Decorah High School

Teacher – Kathryn Thompson
Name of Video – Learning to Love
Student – Emma Fretheim