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Contact: Meredith Beatrice,

Secretary Detzner Announces Winners of the 2016 Florida History Fair

Outstanding students and teachers from across the state recognized and presented with awards

Tallahassee –

The Museum of Florida History is pleased to announce the winners of the annual Florida History Fair (FHF) contest held in Tallahassee May 1–3. More than 50,000 students from around Florida participated in Florida History Fair this year and the top entries from each county competed at the state contest. At the event, outstanding history teachers from across the state were also recognized and presented with awards.

“The students and teachers who participated in this year’s Florida History Fair are a shining example of the talent and creativity in Florida schools,” said Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner. “I’d like to recognize all of the students who devoted hours to researching their topics and perfecting their presentations, including the award winners who will represent Florida at the National History Day contest in Washington, D.C. I’d also like to recognize the teachers honored with awards this year whose dedication inspires students to cultivate their interest in history.”

PHOTO: Students gather at the annual Florida History Fair. Additional pictures from the event can be found on the Florida History Fair’s Facebook page here.

More than 1,120 middle and high school students presented award-winning research in a variety of mediums including, documentaries, exhibits, papers, performances and websites. The top two placements of each category are invited to represent Florida at the National History Day (NHD) contest in College Park, Maryland, June 12–16.


Listed below are the teachers and students who received awards. Statewide student winners are listed by county. A listing of statewide winners by award category is available on the Florida History Fair website here.




Grace Freeman, Gulf Breeze Middle School (Brevard)


Florida History Fair annually honors an educator with the Teacher of Merit Award for creative history teaching within and outside the classroom. To be eligible, a teacher must have at least three years of experience as an FHF participant. The $250 prize is sponsored by Flagler College Tallahassee, which is based at Tallahassee Community College.


Mrs. Freeman teaches US history and gifted classes for sixth to eighth grades and has involved her students in National History Day for ten years. She finds satisfaction in her work by seeing the impact that NHD has had on her students.


Mayflower Outstanding Teacher Award

Jennifer Jaso, Sarasota Middle School (Sarasota)


To be eligible for the Mayflower Outstanding Teacher Award, an individual must be a Florida History Fair participant with at least three years of experience. The recipient will receive a $250 prize, sponsored by the Florida Society of Mayflower Descendants and presented at the FHF state contest Awards Ceremony.


Dr. Jaso teaches ancient civilizations, civics, and US history for sixth to eighth grades and has involved her students in National History Day for nine years.


Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award


The Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award is given to an outstanding junior division and senior division National History Day educator. The recipients receive a check for $500 and become Florida's nominees for the junior and senior Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Awards that are presented at the national contest.


Steven Hammerman - Junior Division, The Weiss School (Palm Beach)


Mr. Hammerman teaches US and Florida history, ancient civilizations, and human geography. He has been a National History Day educator for six years. He is praised by colleagues, school administrators, and parents for his innovative, inspiring, and creative teaching methods and his commitment to students during and after school.


Brandon Rader - Senior Division, St. Petersburg High School (Pinellas)


Mr. Rader teaches Pre-IB world and US history and AP macroeconomics. Although 2015 was his first year as a National History Day educator, he was able to involve the entire IB sophomore class in the program.


Mayflower Legacy Scholarship Award


The $500 Mayflower Scholarship is sponsored by the Florida Society of Mayflower Descendants. It is awarded to a historical paper or documentary entry that competed in the state competition. The entry had to relate to a person, event, or idea that lived or occurred in the 16th, 17th, or early 18th century in Western Europe or North America. The entry was also required to focus on the impact of that person, event, or idea on the development of the United States as a nation today with a unique heritage of liberty and law.


Ronak Agarwal, Pasco County


The Life and Legacy of James Cook

Charles S. Rushe Middle School

Teachers: Tina Fields & Jennifer O'Connor-Podraza







1stPlace       Salvador Dali: The Madman Behind American ModernArt

                        Junior GroupWebsite

AllisonChance                    Fort Clarke Middle School

CarolineTosolini                 Fort Clarke Middle School

2ndPlace     The Ripple Effect: The 1918 InfluenzaEpidemic

                        Junior GroupDocumentary

AveryGoodman                   Fort Clarke MiddleSchool

Natalie Futch                        Fort Clarke MiddleSchool

3rdPlace      From the Wright Brothers to the Flight Brothers: How Two Small-Town Siblings Created Aviation

                        Junior IndividualWebsite

                        Austin Rowe                         Fort Clarke Middle School



1stPlace       Women During and Post WWII: Exploring Rights, Encountering Problems,

                        Exchanging Ideas

                        Junior GroupDocumentary

                        Deborah Cook                      Bay Haven Charter MiddleSchool

                        EkaterinaAkulova               Bay Haven Charter MiddleSchool




1stPlace       The Polar Voyage of the USSJeannette

                        Junior HistoricalPaper

                        Flora Ranis                           American Heritage School


1stPlace       Boundless Possibilities: America's Journey to theMoon

                        Junior IndividualDocumentary

                        Joshua Hoffman                  American Heritage School


1stPlace       How the US Dollar Rebuilt theWorld

                        Junior IndividualExhibit

                        Rudy Moise                           American Heritage School


1stPlace       Encounter Among theStars

                        Senior Group Documentary

                        ChristopherSchunk            Calvary ChristianAcademy
                        Kaley Hendry                        Calvary Christian Academy

                       Gabrielle Cahill                    Calvary ChristianAcademy

                       NicholasHadler                   Calvary ChristianAcademy

                        Theo Linardic                       Calvary ChristianAcademy


2ndPlace     The Saga of the USSJeannette

                        Junior GroupExhibit

                        RajatRamesh                       American HeritageSchool

                        Rohit Ramesh                      American HeritageSchool


3rdPlace      King Leopold III's Rule of the Congo: An ExploitiveExchange

                        Senior GroupWebsite

                        EvanZeiger                          The North Broward PreparatorySchools

                        Evan VonOehsen               The North Broward PreparatorySchools


3rdPlace      Anne Hutchinson: Exploration of Religious Freedom in the NewWorld

                        Senior IndividualPerformance

                        Elizabeth Garrison               Pembroke Pines Charter High School




3rd Place      Women Explorers in Science: Encountering and Overcoming Barriers

                        Junior Group Performance

                        Isabelle Origlio                     James Weldon Johnson College Preparatory Middle School

                        Sri Meghana Kopparthi      James Weldon Johnson College Preparatory Middle School



1st Place       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

                        Senior Individual Documentary

                        Parker Beverly                      Pensacola High School


2nd Place     The Power of Purse Over Politics: The Rise of the Panton Leslie Company and the

                        Forbes Purchase

                        Senior Historical Paper

                        Gorham Partington              Pensacola High School


3rd Place      Mongols: Conquerors of the World

                        Junior Group Website

                        Sami Humeda                      Creative Learning Academy

                        Mehul Kapur                                     Creative Learning Academy

                        Luca Benny                          Creative Learning Academy

                        Nicholas Skoufis                 Creative Learning Academy



2nd Place     Harlem Renaissance

                        Senior Group Performance

                        Jasmine Jean-Marie            Weeki Wachee High School

                        Hannah Jean-Marie            Weeki Wachee High School

                        Madeline Jean-Marie          Weeki Wachee High School


3rd Place      Jackie Cochran and the WASP, Encountering WWII

                        Junior Individual Documentary

                        William An                             Powell Middle School


3rd Place      Sergei Korolev: the Seacoast of the Universe

                        Senior Group Documentary

                        Dustin Faulkenberry           Frank W. Springstead High School

                        Stefanos Belavilas              Frank W. Springstead High School

                        Will Rainsberger                  Frank W. Springstead High School



2nd Place     Henry B. Plant: Putting Tampa on the Map

                        Senior Group Website

                        McKenna Barkett                 Carrollwood Day School

                        Jake Flansburg                    Carrollwood Day School


3rd Place      Ybor City: Manufacturing Cigars, Building Community

                        Junior Group Exhibit

                        Isabella Roman                    Buchanan Middle School

                        Benjamin Hense                  Buchanan Middle School


3rd Place      Asian Americans and You: Minority Activism and Its Effects on U.S. Citizens

                        Senior Historical Paper

                        Sean Nguyen                       Berkley Preparatory School



2nd Place     Reform of Japan: The Interactions Between the American Occupants and

                        War-Torn Japan

                        Senior Individual Website

                        Eri Ishikawa                          East Ridge High School



3rd Place      Trail of Tears

                        Senior Individual Exhibit

                        Tina Yang                             Fort Myers High School


3rd Place      X-Ray Vision: Exploring "New Light"

                        Senior Individual Documentary

                        Kelsey Parker                       Fort Myers High School



1st Place       Exploration, Encounter, and Exchange of the "Howl" Obscenity Trial

                        Senior Historical Paper

                        Thomas Darby                      Lincoln High School


1st Place       The World's Columbian Exposition: The Fair that Changed America

                        Senior Group Website

                        Isabella Yallapragada         James Rickards High School

                        Amanda Wiman                   James Rickards High School


2nd Place     John B. Watson: Exploring Behaviorism in Early Psychology

                        Senior Individual Performance

                        Martine M. Fredrickson       Leon High School


2nd Place     The Silk Road

                        Junior Individual Exhibit

                        Lin Ai Liao                             Cornerstone Learning Community


2nd Place     Andrew Jackson Higgins: The Man That Won World War II and the City That             Helped Him

                        Junior Group Website

                        Meredith Anne Camron      Sacred Heart Home Educators

                        John Paul Camron              Sacred Heart Home Educators



1st Place       Nellie Bly: Daring Reporter Who Changed The World

                        Senior Group Performance

                        Zoe Zimmermann                Manatee School For The Arts

                        Sara Sutton                           Manatee School For The Arts

                        Adam Fuentes                      Manatee School For The Arts


3rd Place      The Belgian Congo: Imperialism at Its Peak

                        Senior Individual Website

                        Mateus Urbanski                  State College Of Florida Collegiate School

Palm Beach


1st Place       Encountering the Truth

                        Senior Individual Exhibit

                        Megan Tonko                       American Heritage School Of Boca/Delray


2nd Place     Nikola Tesla: The Stupendous Possibility of Achievement

                        Junior Group Performance

                        Asher Moss                           The Weiss School

                        Nanako Kondo                     The Weiss School

                        Zoe Krishtul                          The Weiss School



2nd Place     Sacagawea: Cultural Exchange through New Encounters

                        Senior Group Exhibit

                        Lauren Pinero-Colon          Land O' Lakes High School

                        Isabella Torres                      Land O' Lakes High School


3rd Place      Florida's Encounter with Hurricane Andrew

                        Junior Group Documentary

                        Jacqueline Cupo                 Pasco Middle School

                        Arielle Meier                          Pasco Middle School

                        Emerson Parks                     Pasco Middle School


3rd Place      Marco Polo: More Than Just a Pool Game

                        Junior Individual Performance

                        Pierce Thomas                     Centennial Middle School



1st Place       Amelia Island's Tug of Wars: East Florida's Struggle for Independence

                        Junior Group Exhibit

                        Peyton Kovatch                    Safety Harbor Middle School

                        Hailey Zier                             Safety Harbor Middle School


1st Place       The Women's Rights Movement (1848–1920): The Hard Fight for Suffrage

                        Junior Individual Website

                        Kiana Barruel                       Safety Harbor Middle School


1st Place       Parting Shots: Exploring the Power of Political Prose through Aaron Burr and

                        Alexander Hamilton's Encounters and Exchanges

                        Junior Group Performance

                        Cal Barton                             Shorecrest Preparatory School

                        Oliver Hess                           Shorecrest Preparatory School


1st Place       Fifteen Cents to See the Infants on Display

                        Senior Group Exhibit

                        Gabrielle Hines                    Palm Harbor University High

                        Jennifer Gilby                       Palm Harbor University High


1st Place       Salvador Dali: I Am Not Mad

                        Senior Individual Performance

                        Amy Radwan                        Largo High School


2nd Place     Battlefield Afghanistan: Exploring the Conflict of the Soviet-Afghan War

                        Junior Individual Documentary

                        Divya Arora                           Dunedin Highland Middle School


2nd Place     The Lumiere Brothers: Illuminating Motion Pictures

                        Junior Individual Performance

                        Elana Treiser                        Safety Harbor Middle School


3rd Place      Florence Nightingale and Her Exchange of Letters

                        Senior Group Performance

                        Kayelin Leonhirth                Shorecrest Preparatory School

                        Mariah Vesely                      Shorecrest Preparatory School

Santa Rosa


1st Place       Lies, Spies, and Sneaky Guys: Traitor or Trader, You Decide

                        Junior Individual Performance

                        Max Mateer                           Gulf Breeze Middle School


2nd Place     Quackenbush's Gypsies: Photographic Exploration, Encounters and Exchanges in the Pacific Theater

                        Junior Individual Website

                        Hailey Ward                          Gulf Breeze Middle School


2nd Place     Apollo-Soyuz Test Project: First Encounter in Space

                        Junior Historical Paper

                        Elizabeth McCluskey          Gulf Breeze Middle School


3rd Place      Exploring the Heart: The Exchange That Encountered Controversy and

                        Shaped Society

                        Junior Historical Paper

                        Genna Hoitt                          Gulf Breeze Middle School



2nd Place     Jane Goodall: Redefining Mankind

                        Senior Group Documentary

                        Srinija Cherivirala                Seminole High School

                        Caitlin Chen                                     Seminole High School

                        Richa Bhavsar                     Seminole High School


2nd Place     English: The Language That United the World

                        Senior Individual Documentary

                        Malavika Kannan                Seminole High School

St. Johns


1st Place       Can You Tell Me How We Got To Sesame Street? Exploring a New Realm of


                        Senior Individual Website

                        Danielle                                 Haddock Creekside High School

St. Lucie


3rd Place      Everest: Because It's There

                        Senior Group Exhibit

                        Kacey Rigano                       College Preparatory Academy Of The Treasure Coast

                        Karina Tabar                         College Preparatory Academy Of The Treasure Coast



2nd Place     The Apollo Program

                        Senior Individual Exhibit

                        Summer Cowan                   Father Lopez High School


3rd Place      A Salute to the Tuskegee Airmen

                        Junior Individual Exhibit

                        Trevor Simoneau                 Saint Barnabas Episcopal School



About Florida History Fair:
Florida History Fair is part 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 50,000 students participated in the 2015–16 Florida History Fair. For more information visit: