Think you know North Dakota? DLHS student Dylan Moser does

Staff Writer
Devils Lake Journal
ND Secretary of State Al Jaeger, Dylan Moser, ND State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler, and Zach Skurdall at the Know Your State Contest held at BSC last month.

Dylan Moser is a senior at DLHS and you might call him an overachiever.

Not only is he the most active student at DLHS with over 13 clubs and activities, he recently took first place in the Know Your State Contest.

He won last year, too, and as far as we know it is the first time in the contest’s 59 years that the same student won back to back competitions.

The Masonic Lodge sponsors the competition and has for nearly 60 years. In fact, according to Moser, this would have been the contest’s 60th year, but one year it wasn’t held as it was transitioning from one institution of higher education to another. Now it is hosted at Bismarck State College that co-sponsors the competition with the North Dakota Masonic Foundation.

BSC hosted the finals on April 25 with the top two 11th and 12th grade scorers from each county competed for eight cash prizes, including two $1,000 first place awards.

Two from Devils Lake represented Ramsey County in the competition, Moser and Zach Skurdall.

The final round, according to Moser is a written test in a huge lecture bowl at BSC. The test is a combination of multiple choice questions and three essays. The three essay topics may vary from year to year, but Moser said the first was on North Dakota’s history, the second on North Dakota’s political  history and the third was on a theme of the writer’s choice.

“After you take the test, there is a break for about four hours while they grade the test and evaluate the essays. Then you come back for the results and a nice dinner put on by the Masons,” recalled Moser.

Kelly Schmidt, North Dakota State Treasurer, was the keynote speaker for the dinner and just about everyone involved in North Dakota politics was in attendance.

Moser said he was more nervous this second time around because he put more pressure on himself to achieve.

The other first place winner was Tanner Carlson of Century High School, Bismarck.  Both he and Moser earned a $1,000 cash prize and a plaque as first place winners of the 59th Annual Know Your State Competition.

Second place winners, Megan Larson of Jamestown High School and Paige Amann of Trinity High School in Dickinson, each received a $750 cash prize and a plaque. Third place winners Eva Byerley of Hazen High School and Tiffany Olson of Jamestown High School earned a $500 prize and a plaque. Donald Goven of Turtle Lake-Mercer Public School and Oscar Weber of Jamestown High School took fourth place earning a $250 prize and a plaque.

All finalists received a copy of North Dakota Blue Book 2015-2017, published by the North Dakota Secretary of State, these books are "a compendium of information about the state's political, economic, social, cultural and environmental history, and current status" and were donated by the N.D. Masonic Foundation.

Moser had his copy signed by ND Secretary of State Al Jaeger.

Moser is the son of Melissa and Steve Moser of Devils Lake, the grandson of Mary Ann MacDonald and Dale and Pam Moser, all of Devils Lake.

His plans for the future include finishing his Associate of Arts degree at LRSC, then going on for a four year college degree, a minor in History with an eye to becoming a lawyer.

“I’m hoping to one day come back to Devils Lake and be the Ramsey County States Attorney like my cousin, Lonnie Olson,” Moser says.

That’s not all. He thinks maybe a seat in the House or the Senate may be in his future, too, and who knows what might happen after that?

First things, first, however, he graduates from DLHS on May 29 and because he has accumulated over 200 volunteer hours he’ll be wearing the triple cord over his graduation gown.

But remember, if you want to know anything about North Dakota, Moser’s the one to ask.