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Contact: Chris Cate
850.245.6522

Secretary Detzner Congratulates Floridians in National History Day Contest

More than 60 students from 15 Florida counties represented at National History Day competition

Tallahassee, Florida –

Secretary of State Ken Detzner today announced Florida’s student winners of the National History Day (NHD) competition in College Park, Maryland. After months of intensive research and success at district and state-level contests, 63 students from 15 counties represented Florida at the national competition.

“I’m proud of all the students who represented Florida with their tremendous knowledge and creative talents,” said Secretary Detzner. “These outstanding students are an example of the talent and potential that exists in Florida schools.”

The middle and high school students prepared historical papers, documentaries, performances, exhibits and website entries relating to this year’s theme, “Revolution, Reaction, Reform in History.” With 45,500 participating students, Florida ranked second in the nation for most students participating. Florida’s students joined 2,800 others from 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Department of Defense Schools in Europe and Puerto Rico, and international schools in East and South Asia at the largest national competition in NHD’s 32-year history.

National History Day is a year-long educational program that encourages students in grades 6 to 12 to enhance research, writing, communication and critical thinking skills through the process of historical discovery. The 63 Florida students who advanced to the NHD contest were winners at the Florida History Fair in May. This year, 45,500 Florida students participated statewide, and nearly 1,000 students representing 32 counties competed at the state level.

The Florida History Fair is one of the statewide services sponsored by the Florida Department of State’s Museum of Florida History, within the department’s Division of Cultural Affairs. A list of state and national winners and FHF sponsors can be viewed at www.floridahistoryfair.com.

Listed below are Florida’s national-level winners. The two first place winners earned the designation of “NEH Scholar” because the awards are sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

1st Place–Senior Division–Individual Performance
Samantha Irvine, Gibbs High School (Pinellas)
Entry: The Luddite Rebellion: Progress vs. Preservation 
Teacher: Candes Clifford

1st Place–Senior Division–Individual Exhibit
Nicholas Gupta,Pensacola High School (Escambia)
Entry: Out of the Closet and Into the Streets: The Stonewall Uprising of 1969
Teachers:  Michael Jones, Blevins Rose

Outstanding State Awards–Junior Division–Group Performance
Carolyn Bernal, Amanda Gard, Dakkea Jester, Jacqueline Mesa, All Angels Academy (Miami-Dade)
Entry:  When We Were Men
Teacher:  Terry Davila-Alexander

Outstanding State Awards–Senior Division–Group Documentary
Alexander Saltiel, Jack Stein, Shorecrest Preparatory School (Pinellas)
Entry:  Gideon v. Wainwright:  Revolution, Reaction, and Historical Reform in the American Legal System
Teacher: Ron Heller

Special Prize Winner–Immigration History Award–Senior Group Performance
Katherine Harrington, Elliott Riches, Daniel Tanchez, American Heritage School (Broward)
Entry: Operation Pedro Pan: The Story
Teacher: Leslie Porges

Finalists–Junior Division
4th Place:  Junior Individual Website
Kelsey Cohen, Community Christian School (Leon)
Entry: Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle: Revolutionizing the Cr(edibility) of the Meat Industry
Teacher: Karen Braun

6th Place: Junior Individual Website
Nicolas Lacognata, Safety Harbor Middle School (Pinellas)
Entry: The Toilet
Teachers: Deana Barthel, Krista Valentage

7th Place:  Junior Group Performance
Carolyn Bernal, Amanda Gard, Dakkea Jester, Jacqueline Mesa, All Angels Academy (Miami-Dade)
Entry: When We Were Men
Teacher:  Terry Davila-Alexander

9th Place: Junior Individual Performance
Jack Irvine, Safety Harbor Middle School (Pinellas)
Entry: Revolutionary Theater: Oops The British Did It Again
Teacher: Candes Clifford

12th Place: Junior Individual Documentary
Michael Saturno, Chiles Middle School (Seminole)
Entry: Poland’s Revolution of Conscience: A Stepping Stone to Political Reform in Eastern Europe Teacher: Joan Ilemsky

Finalists–Senior Division

5th Place:  Senior Historical Paper
Heather Davidson, Deland High School (Volusia)
Teacher: Kimberly Stevenson
Entry: The Harlem Renaissance: A Black Cultural Revolution, Reaction, and Reform

6th Place: Senior Individual Documentary
Johnalyn Gordon, East Lake High School (Pinellas)
Entry:  Freedom Rides:  Revolutionary Tactics, Brutal Reactions, and the Reforms that Changed the Nation
Teacher: Alan Kay

7th Place: Senior Individual Documentary
Natalie Jones, Lincoln High School (Leon)
Entry: Silent Spring: Reforming the Pesticide Revolution
Teacher: Kathleen McCarron

10th Place: Senior Group Performance
Katherine Harrington, Elliott Riches, Daniel Tanchez, American Heritage School (Broward)
Teacher: Leslie Porges
Entry: Operation Pedro Pan:  The Story

11th Place:  Senior Historical Paper
Nicole Cannon, Springstead High School (Hernando)
Entry: Theatre of the Absurb: A Revolution in Drama
Teacher: Suzanne Miranda

Special Recognition

National Museum of American History (NMAH) “National History Night” 
Evan Adams, Joseph Herring, Avalon Middle School (Santa Rosa)
Entry: Bay of Pigs:  The United States Response to Communism in the West
Teacher: Dale Anderson
(Note: Each NHD affiliate was invited to send an exhibit to display for a day at NMAH.)

Salute to Freedom Award
Michael Saturno, Chiles Middle School (Seminole)
Teacher: Joan Ilemsky
Entry: Poland’s Revolution of Conscience: A Stepping Stone to Political Reform in Eastern Europe
(Note: Each NHD affiliate was invited to select a student to attend the National WWII Museum’s new exhibit opening in January 2013.)