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Middlebury Students Recognized for Outstanding Connecticut Entry at the National History Day Contest

CT students won national awards and were recognized for their projects.

(Credit: History Day in Connecticut Facebook page)
(Credit: History Day in Connecticut Facebook page)

Several Connecticut students came away with honors from the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest 2014.

"Jasmine Su and Gabrielle Young won the Junior Prize for Outstanding Connecticut Entry with their exhibit, 'Japanese Internment During WWII: Connecticut Acts Responsibly to Restore Basic Rights of Japanese Americans,'" according to a news release. "They are students at Memorial Middle School in Middlebury, CT."

The National History Day Contest took place from June 15 to June 19 at the University of Maryland in College Park, and 59 Connecticut students competed among 2,900 total students from around the country.


The following list of Connecticut student winners came from the news release:

  • Nicholas Serrambana, a student at Classical Magnet School in Hartford, won Third Place (in the nation) in the Senior Individual Performance category for his project, Hanging Satan: The Eradication of Connecticut’s Witch-Craze.

  • Five students from Pequot Home School in Southport won Second Place (in the nation) in Senior Group Performance for their project, The Farm Security Administration Photography Project: Human Rights and Government Responsibility through an Altered Lens.  The students are: Isabella Altherr, Annabel Barry, Pierce Barry, Quinn Barry and Jaden Esse.
  • Samuel Porcello won the prize for Outstanding Entry tied to a Historic Site with his exhibit, A Tale of Two Floods: How Johnstown Elevated Individual Rights and America’s Flood Responsibility. He is a student at Conard High School in West Hartford.  During the National Contest, Sam met with one of the flood survivors whom he had previously interviewed over the phone.

  • Jonas Burkhard and Tim Nolan were awarded the Senior Prize for a Connecticut Project with their documentary, "Neutrality? Bombs, Gold and Swiss Support of the South African Apartheid Regime."  They are students from E.O. Smith High School in Storrs and, in fact, flew back from high school graduation in order to participate in the National Contest.

“Additionally, several Connecticut students were recognized as finalists, selected as a top fourteen project among over a hundred, at the National Contest:”

  • Abigail McMahon and Aje Watson from Praise, Power, and Prayer Christian School in Windsor were finalists in the Senior Group Performance category with their project Dodging the Draft: Rights and Responsibilities During the Vietnam War.

  • Jack Higgins from Thomas Edison Middle School in Meriden was selected as a finalist with his documentary, The Beman Triangle: A Community’s Struggle for Freedom.  Jack received a special invitation to attend “Breakfast on the Hill” with members of Congress, an event sponsored by National Endowment for the Humanities.  Jack spoke with legislators about his award-winning documentary which focused on a vibrant African-American community in Middletown, CT.

  • Catherine Cranmer, Rebecca Coyne, and Lydia Russell from Mansfield Middle School in Storrs were selected as finalists in the Junior Group Website category with their project, Japanese American Internment: The Rights of the People vs.  The Responsibility of the Government.

Angela Yu and Maddy Fodor from Staples High School in Westport, CT, represented Connecticut at National History Day, Night at the Museum of American History. The students exhibited their project, Prudence Crandall.

“The quality of our students’ work is phenomenal,” said head of Public Programs and History Day for Connecticut’s Old State House, Rebecca-Taber Conover, in the news release. “I am so proud of our Connecticut students.”

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