JFK Lancer Online



1997 Scholarship winners!


Student Winner: Amy Trauernicht

Amy Trauernitch and Bruce HitchcockWe were 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 Burton.

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 including:

bluetrismallLiterary Magazine, Layout Editor, throughout high school
bluetrismallSwim Team, Jr. Varsity
bluetrismallTrack, Jr.Varsity
bluetrismallState and International Science Fairs
bluetrismallSchool and Community Stage Productions, Actor and Director
bluetrismallMill Stream Newspaper, Editor, Senior Year
bluetrismallAcademic Competitions
bluetrismallSpeech Team President
bluetrismallGreater Hamilton County Jr. Miss Winner 1997 (Awarded $1600 scholarship)
bluetrismallWho's Who Among American Students
bluetrismallFaculty Scholarship Winner (Awarded $500 scholarship)
bluetrismallEnglish Department Outstanding Student throughout high school Award Winner
bluetrismallSocial Studies Department Outstanding Student throughout high school Award Winner
bluetrismallSpeaker at Commencement Graduation Ceremony

Amy is now a Freshman at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.

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.



Bruce HitchcockWe 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:

bluetrismallAssigning his Jr. Honors U.S. history class the project of placing the Warren Commission Report on trial.
bluetrismallDuring 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.
bluetrismallIn 1996 and 1997 students preparing for the internship conducted similar trials during the school's seminar period.
bluetrismallAs 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.
bluetrismallMr. 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.
bluetrismallNoblesville'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 resolution.

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.



3bbulrdRead about the Assassination Records Review Board

3bbulrdJFK Lancer 1998 Scholarship information

3bbulrdJFK Lancer information links

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