Hartford, Conn. – Twelve Connecticut students received 2022 National History Day® awards at a virtual award ceremony on June 18.

Sixty-one students qualified to represent Connecticut at the national contest this year by placing first or second at the Connecticut State Contest last month. These students joined close to 3,000 others from the United States and overseas to compete at the national level. Eleven of the Connecticut award-winners finished in the top ten in their category, and eight received special awards in addition to their top-ten medals.

Inspired by the 2022 theme, Debate and Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures and Consequences, these middle school and high school students wrote papers, created exhibits, produced documentaries, designed websites, and staged performances.

Connecticut students who received 2022 National History Day® awards include:
● 2nd place: Senior Individual Website
Lucia Wang: Staples High School (Westport)
“Minamata’s Fight for Justice: How Japan’s Failed Debate and Response Sparked Local and Global Change”

● 4th place Senior Group Performance and
● Outstanding Connecticut Entry (Senior Division)
Clarissa Halpyn and John Margelony: Rockville High School (Vernon) and Arts at the Capitol Theater Magnet School (Willimantic)
“The Congress for Cultural Freedom: The CIA’s Cloak and Paintbrush Diplomacy”

● 5th Place, Senior Individual Performance
Elizabeth Steeves: Trumbull High School (Trumbull)
“Otto von Bismark: Germany’s Creator and Its Killer”

● 6th place Junior Group Exhibit and
● Outstanding Connecticut Entry (Junior Division)
Anna Kvashchuk, Daniel Guo, Marianne Joy Montenegro, Olivia Papadopoulos: Nathan Hale Middle School (Norwalk)
“The Cuban Missile Crisis: The Diplomatic Dilemma”

● 8th place, Senior Group Performance
Kathia Diaz and Sophia Carrier: Enfield High School (Enfield)
“The Gold Standard’s Control over the Working Class: William Jennings Bryan’s Crusade to End Economic Disparity in America.”

● 9th Place, Senior Individual Exhibit
Dagny Dahl: Staples High School (Westport)
“Angry Days, 1939-1941: Should the United States Enter World War II?”

● Discovery or Exploration in History Award (Junior Paper)
Rachel Mathew: Timothy Edwards Middle School (South Windsor)
“From Peru to Yale and Back Again: The Journey of the Peruvian Machu Picchu Artifacts”

Connecticut History Day State Coordinator, Rebecca Taber, praised the hard work and dedication of all the student entrants, despite the lingering effects of the pandemic. “I’m so proud of Team Connecticut, especially since the contests remained virtual this year. It’s difficult to work within the confines of the online requirements, yet 3,000+ students across Connecticut rose to the challenge, enthusiastically exploring a wide range of fascinating topics and producing some really amazing projects. We look forward to returning to in-person contests in 2023!”

On June 30th at noon, the public has the opportunity to virtually “meet” some of the sixty-one middle and high school students who represented Connecticut in the prestigious National History Day competition this month. Hear fascinating first-person stories from these award-winning students about their challenging projects and the impact Connecticut History Day has had on them, along with commentary from featured speaker, teacher John Smith-Horn, Connecticut’s nominee for the Patriciate Behring Teacher of the Year and current instructor at Timothy Edwards Middle School in South Windsor. This online event is sponsored by Connecticut’s Old State House, home of the Connecticut History Day program.

Find all the details here.

Staples High School (Westport) teacher Drew Coyne also received honors at the National History Day ceremony on June 18th, as one of the top finalists for the Patricia Behring national Teacher of the Year award. Drew was awarded the Connecticut Teacher of the Year prize last month.

Connecticut History Day (CHD) is one of 58 affiliate programs of National History Day, and is a program in residence at Connecticut’s Old State House. CHD annually engages over 4,000 middle- and high-school students in historical research, interpretation, and creative expression through project-based learning. Led by the Connecticut Democracy Center, CHD is presented with major funding and partnership support from CT Humanities. Program support is provided by the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area and New Haven Museum. For more information, visit

The Connecticut Democracy Center (CTDC) provides people with a lifetime pathway to active citizenship and the tools to take civic action in their own communities. For more information, visit

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