To communicate the truths of history is an act of hope for the future.

– Daisaku Ikeda
2021 2nd Annual Edition


Historic Boulder’s Second Annual Secondary School Essay Contest is intended to showcase the writing, creative and research skills of students in the Boulder Valley Schools using essay themes drawn from Boulder history. Students are encouraged to discover how exploring Boulder’s past can deepen one’s understanding of the present and help us better plan for the future.

THE 2021 CONTEST THEME WAS: Symbols Matter

Communities throughout the United States have either removed or renamed statues, monuments, and buildings in an effort to be more inclusive, to more accurately reflect history, and to elevate stories, events or persons. Boulder County is no exception. A number of local parks, buildings, and other public spaces throughout the county have been renamed and reimagined in an effort to repair or redress past harms and omissions. Recent examples include the renaming of Settler’s Park (People’s Crossing), the Boulder Municipal Building (Penfield Tate II)), Lafayette’s Rose Lueras Pool, and a number of buildings on the CU campus.

Identify a site (building, neighborhood, park, street, trail, etc.) in your community that you feel should be renamed or that has recently been renamed and present a thoughtful argument in support of renaming. You must include a thorough description of the historical significance of the site and make a case as to why you feel changing its name better reflects the history of the site.


First Place: $300 Prize

Skye Williams

William Lofton: Honoring the Truth

Angevine Middle School

Teacher: Emilio Marrero

Second Place: $200 Prize

Rachel Tilton

Wright Peak

Casey Middle School

Teacher: Lisa Wertz

Third Place: $100 Prize

Penelope Letter

Contemplating Miller to Mira: Changing Lafayette’s Racist Past

Peak-to-Peak Charter School

Teacher: Kristie Letter

Read the Essays