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History Day Competition Winners Announced


Surry Community College recently hosted a regional National History Day competition for middle school and high school students, and the winners advanced to the state competition held April 27 in Raleigh.

Surry Community College accommodated more than 235 students in this year's district competition, which included area schools in northwestern North Carolina and attracting students from as far away as Avery, Henderson counties and Salisbury. It was the college's seventh and biggest year hosting the event that attracted competitors from Atkins Academic & Technical High School, Winston-Salem; North Forsyth High School, Winston-Salem; Oak Grove High School, Winston-Salem; Rowan County Early College, Salisbury; Classical Scholars, Arden; Gryphon Academy, Crossnore; Oak Grove Middle School, Winston-Salem; Ledford Middle School, Thomasville; Hanes Magnet Middle School, Winston-Salem, as well as local schools including the Surry Early College, Dobson; Mount Airy Middle School, Mount Airy; and Millennium Charter Academy, Mount Airy.

Surry Community College is one of seven statewide district hosts, along with Chowan University, Alamance Community College, East Carolina University, Cape Fear Museum, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and Western Carolina University.

Rick Shelton, a History Instructor at Surry Community College and District Coordinator for the competition, commented, “It was an extremely successful event with a record number of schools represented and the broadest coverage of categories that we have had in our brief history hosting the event. We had an outstanding group of judges and volunteers that made the contest an excellent experience for all. ”

Shelton was all smiles during the event and said it was his favorite day of the year. “I love seeing the kids' faces light up as they show off their hard work, ” he added.

Categories of participation include documentaries, dramatic performances, exhibits, historical papers and website designs, with all but historical papers open to individual or group participation. Participants were assigned a project theme, “Triumph and Tragedyin History. ”

Winners in the various categories are as follows:

For Senior Individual Exhibits: Kalista Greenarch of North Forsyth High School won for her exhibit “America's Radiant Women. ” In second place, Elizabeth Fishel of Atkins Academic and Tech High School with her exhibit “Titanic Tragedy. ” In third place was Macy Clarida also from Atkins with her exhibit “Walls throughout History. ”

For Senior Individual Documentary: Nathaniel Hardy from Gryphon Academy won first place for his documentary titled “Fallen Stars: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Soviet Space Program. ” Christian Childress of North Forsyth High School placed second with “TONYA, Triumph to Tragedy. ” Rachelle Holbrook of Atkins placed third with “The Triumph of a Faithful Woman. ”

Senior Individual Website: Andrea Rodriguez of North Forsyth High School won first place for “Charlotte Hawkins Brown: An educator breaking the barriers of Jim Crow. ” Dana Sanderson, also from North Forsyth High School, took second place for “The Withering of Spring. ” Karina Hernandez-Reyes from Atkins Academic and Tech High School placed third with “Loving vs. Virginia. ”

Senior Individual Performance: Esperanza Vargas-Sanchez from North Forsyth High School won first place with “Malintzin: When Betrayal Births a Nation. ” Marrianna Flores of Atkins Academic and Tech High School placed second with “Salem Witch Trials. ”

Senior Paper: Molly McKenna of Atkins won first place with “The Triumph and Tragedy of Alexander Hamilton's Life. ” Lukas Bender of Atkins came in second with “The Sit In: The Greensboro Sit In's impact on the Civil Rights Movement in North Carolina. ” Josh Reynolds of North Forsyth placed third with “Iranian Hostage Crisis. ”

Senior Group Exhibit: Surry Early College students Nancy Garcia, Anayeli Garcia, and Paloma Garcia-Serrano won first place with “The Broken Promise: Pine Ridge Reservation. ” North Forsyth students Jose Alonzo-Vico, Sofia Espinoza Estrada, Mikael Cuthrell, and Alexa Cowell came in second with “The Holocaust. ” North Forsyth students Osman Torres, Lilian Rufino, Leslie Guevara-Martinez, and Jason Medina placed third with “McDonalds: Billions and Billions Affected. ”

Senior Group Documentary: North Forsyth students Celeste Colato, and Cindy Garcia won first place with “The Stories behind the Salvadoran War. ” Atkins students Jackson Northen and Jackson Oves placed second with “Tragedy of the Great Depression and the Triumph of the New Deal. ”

Senior Group Website: Oak Grove High School students Lauren Fritzsche and Brady Farlow won first place with “The Blue Ridge Parkway. ” North Forsyth students Andrew Sanderson and Andrew Banner placed second with “The Decline of Rock Music in the 21stCentury. ”

Senior Group Performance: Classical Scholars students Katherine Grady, Katy Sue Malt, and Leah Fibraio won first place with “The Treaty of Versailles: How the Proclamation That Gave a Triumphant End to WWI and Brought Tragedy to Germany and Set the Stage for Hitler to Rise to Power With His Nazi Ideals. ” North Forsyth students Yvette Cuevas-Torres, Triston Vanhoy, and Ryan Garcia placed second with “The Morgue is Filled with Our Sacrifices. ” North Forsyth students Daniela Alvarado Diaz, Rebeca Coreas, and Lisset Avila Vargas placed third for “6 Minutes of Bullets a Lifetime of Tears. ”

Junior Individual Exhibit: Max Flinchum of Millennium Charter Academy won first place with “Elvis Presley: Jukebox Hero. ” Brea White of Ledford Middle placed second with “Impossible Wilma. ” Chase Moore of Mount Airy Middle School placed third with “Tragedy of Massacre, Triumph of Liberty. ”

Junior Individual Documentary: Ming Jun Chong of Ledford Middle won first place for “Indonesia Malaysia Confrontation. ”

Junior Individual Website: Silas Cooper of Millennium Charter Academy won first place with “The Prague Spring. ” Arianna Gonzalez of Ledford Middle placed second with “The History of Flight. ” Collin Senters of Ledford Middle tied for third place with “9/11 Triumph and Tragedy. ” The other third place winner was Justin Poole also of Ledford Middle with “9/11 Terrorist Attacks. ”

Junior Individual Performance: Isabella Hardy of Gryphon Academy won first place with “The Most Curious and Illustrative Yet Discovered: The Triumph and Tragedy of Mary Anning. ” Hannah Rudisill of Mount Airy Middle placed second with “Alice Paul's Endurance of Tragedy to Create Triumph. ” Samantha Medrano of Millennium Charter Academy placed third with “I live. She died. I will tell her story. ”

Junior Paper: Ford Williard of Ledford Middle won first place with “Triumph and Tragedy of 9/11. ” Noah Lambert of Mount Airy Middle placed second with “The Denial to Sit Down and Eat: The Greensboro Sit-Ins. ” Jordan Hughes of Ledford Middle placed third with “The Salem Witch Trials. ”

Junior Group Exhibit: Ledford Middle students Devon DeLellis, Sarah Phillips, Alexis De Castro, Sion Chang, and Etegenete Mengistu won first place for “The Turning Point of the Korean War: The Battle of Inchon. ” Millennium Charter Academy students Abigail Vaughn, Ava Utt, and Laken Warren placed second with “Journey of Heart Transplants. ” Mount Airy Middle School students Kate Deaton, Greer Tidd, and Sydney Joyce placed third with “J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Manhattan Project. ”

Junior Group Documentary: Classical Scholars students Lillian Riddle, Eden Stout, Grace Kushigian, Allie Rae Justice, and Lauren Wilkie won first place for “The Missing Girls: How the Tragedy of China's One Child Policy Led to the Triumph of Women Being Valued. ” Classical Scholars Andrew Renegar, Isaac Brown, Cameron Grady, and Landon Pierron placed second with “Through Thick and Thin: How the Determination and Servant Leadership of Ernest Shackleton Turned Triumph Into Tragedy. ” Hanes Magnet School students Kaley Brannon, Sailor Murray, Allison Setliff, and Caleb Barbour placed third with “The Triumphs and Tragedies of NASA. ”

Junior Group Website: Classical Scholars Mia Towne, Maggie Alexander, and Elena Fibraio won first place with “Though Poppies Grow: How John McCrae Helped Turn a Great Tragedy into a Triumph for the Fallen. ” Hanes Magnet School students Laila Chambers and Eliza Tucker placed second with “The Triumphs and Tragedies of the Holocaust. ” Oak Grove Middle School students Sofia Domenech, Sunida Siphanthone, and Katie Maddock placed third for “The Monuments Men. ”

Junior Group Performance: Classical Scholars John Paul Torres, Leyla Belk, and Amy Malt won first place with “Dimes over Disease: How the Tragedy of Polio, and The Triumph of Public Accountability Changed How America Reacts to Infectious Disease. ”

National History Day (NHD) was established in 1974 and offers year-long academic programs that engage over half a million middle and high-school students around the world annually in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. These research-based projects are entered into contests at the local, district, and state levels, where the top student projects have the opportunity to advance to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park. NHD also seeks to improve the quality of history education by providing professional development opportunities and curriculum materials for educators. NHD is sponsored in part by Kenneth E. Behring, Patricia Behring, HISTORY®, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Park Service.

In addition to facilitating the discovery of the past, NHD also helps students develop the following attributes that are critical for future success: critical thinking and problem-solving skills; research and reading skills, oral and written communication and presentation skills; self-esteem and confidence; and a sense of responsibility for and involvement in the democratic process.

For more information about getting involved in the National History Day competition, contact Rick Shelton at (336) 386-3236 or

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