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Contact: Meredith Beatrice,

Florida History Fair Students Shine at National History Day

Tallahassee, FL –

Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner is pleased to announce that Florida students excelled at the National History Day (NHD) competition in College Park, Maryland, winning seven national awards and earning numerous other recognitions. Representing the Sunshine State, 60 students and 12 teachers attended the national competition, June 12–16, at the University of Maryland.

“This past May at the Florida History Fair state contest, I was fortunate to meet these young historians, who spent months conducting research and developing their entries,” said Secretary Detzner. “I’m delighted that their work and dedication has been recognized with national awards.”

The students’ entries previously won first or second place in May at the Florida History Fair state contest, sponsored by the Museum of Florida History. The middle- and high-school students presented their findings in a historical paper, documentary, performance, exhibit, or website related to the 2015–16 theme, “Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History.” More than 68,000 students participated statewide, making Florida one of the largest programs among the 55 NHD affiliates.

The national contest drew nearly 3,000 students from the 50 states, District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Guatemala, and international schools in Southeast Asia. This year Florida received several top honors.

Listed below are Florida’s national-level winners by county:

Broward County

2nd Place:  Junior Individual Exhibit    

Rudy Moise

How the U.S. Dollar Rebuilt the World

American Heritage School; Teachers: Leslie Porges and Darryl Trowbridge

3rd Place:  Junior Paper    

Flora Ranis

From Hopeless to Heroic: The Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette

American Heritage School; Teacher: Leslie Porges

3rd Place:  Junior Individual Documentary    

Joshua Hoffman

Boundless Possibilities: America’s Journey to the Moon

American Heritage School; Teacher: Leslie Porges


Escambia County

Outstanding Affiliate Award—Senior Division

Parker Beverly—Senior Individual Documentary

E is for Exploration, Encounter and Exchange, Sesame Street: Exploring Educational Television and Its Benefits, Encountering Social Changes, and Exchanging Ideas for Foreign Co-productions
Pensacola High School; Teacher: Andrew Rehwinkel


Pinellas County

1st Place: Senior Group Exhibit

Jennifer Gilby and Gabrielle Hines

Fifteen Cents to See the Infants on Display
Palm Harbor University High School; Teachers: Shaun Falcon and Jason Tsardoulias


Outstanding Affiliate Award—Junior Division

Elana Treiser—Junior Individual Performance
The Lumiere Brothers: Illuminating Motion Pictures

Safety Harbor Middle School; Teachers: Amanda Dogu and Diane Dove


St. Johns County

3rd Place: Senior Individual Website

Danielle Haddock

Can You Tell Me How We Got to Sesame Street? Exploring a New Realm of Education
Creekside High School; Teacher: Laura Wynn


Florida’s NHD Finalists by county:

Finalists are students whose entry is among the top ten projects in their division and category.


Leon County

7th Place: Junior Individual Exhibit

Lin Ai Liao
The Silk Road: Exploration and Exchange between East and West

Cornerstone Learning Community; Teacher: Jessica Kimelman


Manatee County

5th Place: Junior Individual Performance

Max Mateer
Lies, Spies, and Sneaky Guys: Traitor or Trader…You Decide
Gulf Breeze Middle School; Teacher: Grace Freeman


Pinellas County

4th Place: Junior Individual Performance

Elana Treiser

The Lumiere Brothers: Illuminating Motion Pictures

Safety Harbor Middle School; Teachers: Amanda Dogu and Diane Dove

8th Place: Junior Individual Documentary

Divya Arora
Battlefield Afghanistan: Exploring the Conflict of the Soviet-Afghan War
Dunedin Highland Middle School; Teacher: Teresa Bergstrom


National Museum of American History

Each NHD affiliate selected an exhibit for display during daytime public hours and during a special “National History Night” for NHD participants in the evening. The senior group exhibit by Lauren Pinero and Isabella Torres, Sacagawea: Cultural Exchange through New Encounters, represented Florida at the National Museum of American History on June 15.

A list of state and national winners and Florida History Fair sponsors can be viewed at  For more information on National History Day, visit


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About Florida History Fair:

Florida History Fair is an affiliate of National History Day (NHD). NHD was established in 1974 to promote history in the classroom by offering students the means and encouragement to research people, ideas, and events of the past. The 2015–16 theme is "Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History.” After analyzing and interpreting the information they have gathered, students express their findings in a paper, exhibit, performance, documentary, or website. More than 68,000 students participated in the 2015–16 Florida History Fair. For more information visit: