Largest Contingent of Connecticut Students Ever Receive Prestigious Awards at National History Day® Contest
CT Humanities sends congratulations to all of the Connecticut students who participated this year!

Hartford, Conn. – Twenty-one students from across Connecticut received awards at the 2021 National History Day® (NHD) Contest, Saturday, June 19, in a virtual ceremony, the highest number of awards ever for a Connecticut delegation to NHD.

Fifty-six students represented Connecticut at the virtual contest this year after advancing by placing in first or second place at the Connecticut State Contest last month. They joined close to 3,000 students from the U.S. and overseas to compete at the national level. More than 3,000 middle and high school students participated in the 2021 Connecticut History Day (CHD) competition, one of 58 affiliate programs of National History Day.

“I’m so proud of Connecticut’s students for persevering through a really difficult year to do amazing research on creative topics,” stated State Coordinator Rebecca Taber.  “The students’ hard work is reflected in Connecticut’s strong showing at the National Contest. Congratulations to the teachers and students!”

Inspired by the theme Communication in History: The Key to Understanding, high school and middle school students wrote papers, created exhibits, produced documentaries, designed websites and staged performances exploring topics ranging from Prudence Crandall to the Beatles to the creation of the telegraph.

The following students were awarded prizes for placing in the top three in their project category:

  • 1st Place, Junior Individual Documentary: Claire Flynn, Sedgwick Middle School, West HartfordClearing the Air: How John Hersey Communicated Hiroshima Survivors’ Stories to the World and Changed the Global Perspective on Nuclear Weapons.
  • 3rd place, Senior Individual Exhibit: Zachary Brody, Staples High School, WestportBlowing Smoke: Unmasking the Persuasive Communication Techniques of Cigarette Advertising in the 20th Century: a Key to Understanding the Emergence of Regulations.
  • 3rd place, Senior Group Website: KeQing Tan and Sneha Maskey, Wilbur Cross High School, New HavenCommunicating through Code: Elizabeth Friedman’s Crackdown on Nazi Spy Rings during World War II.

Four Connecticut students received Special Prizes from organizations and individuals for exceptional projects in specific areas of history:

  • Rebecca Bemiss, JFK Middle School, Enfield: The Captain Ken Coskey Naval History Prize, Junior Individual Performance – Mavis Batey and the Geese That Never Cackled.
  • Marlon Coon and Young In Kim, Wilbur Cross High School, New Haven: The White House History Award, Senior Group Documentary – The Camp David Accords: How Jimmy Carter Negotiated Peace Between Two Warring Middle Eastern Countries.
  • June Lanpher and Maya Harpaz-Levy, Worthington Hooker Middle School, New Haven: Junior Division, Outstanding Connecticut Award – The Reindeer Express. The team also finished in 4th place in the Junior Group Documentary.
  • Jeffrey Pogue, Staples High School, Westport: Senior Division, Outstanding Connecticut Award – Thomas Paine, the Most Influential Man in America: A Key to Understanding Revolutionary Communication. Jeffrey also finished in 4th place in Senior Individual Performance.

Other Top 10 Finalists from Connecticut include:

  • 5th place, Senior Group Performance: Julia Healey-Parera, Lauren Levine, Mateu Healey-Parera and Sarah Levine, E.O. Smith High School, MansfieldMcCarthy and the Jackal Pack: How the Media Exposed America’s Most Infamous Senator.
  • 5th place, Junior Papers: Sophia Caneira, Mansfield Middle School – Letters for Understanding: Communication during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
  • 5th place, Senior Individual Performance: Iniya Raya, South Windsor High School – Near v. Minnesota: How One Man’s Communication of “Malicious, Scandalous and Defamatory” News Was the Key to Understanding Freedom of the Press.
  • 6th place, Junior Papers: Manxi Han, Worthington Hooker School, New HavenObjective Journalism vs. Patriotic Narrative How (Mis)Information Was Communicated to the American Public during the Tet Offensive of 1968.
  • 6th place, Senior Individual Exhibit: Hannah Fiarman, Staples High School, WestportThe Freedom Rides: Communicating Injustices in Interstate Travel for a Key understanding of Crucial Change.
  • 9th place, Senior Group Performance: Clarissa Halpryn of Rockville High School and John Margelony, Arts at the Capitol Theater Magnet School, WillimanticTed Sorensen: The Letter That Saved the World.
  • 10th place, Senior Group Exhibits: Michael Nealon and William Jin, Staples High School, Westport –  America’s Key to Understanding: How Uncle Tom’s Cabin Communicated Abolitionist Ideals and Changed the Minds of Millions.

Connecticut History Day, coordinated by The Connecticut Democracy Center at Connecticut’s Old State House, is one of 58 affiliate programs of NHD. CHD promotes the study of history in schools to create a higher degree of appreciation for the value of historical thought in students, educators and community members. CHD creates college and career-ready citizens of the future by engaging students in rigorous, inquiry-based academic research projects.

Connecticut History Day is presented with major funding and partnership support from CT Humanities and support from the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area and the New Haven Museum. Follow Connecticut History Day on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and 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. CTDC strengthens civic engagement in the Constitution State by providing comprehensive and unbiased educational programming and outreach on state government, civics, history and citizenship. Learn more at


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