14 Westport Students Win in History Day State Contest

More than a dozen Staples High School students won various awards at a state history contest held last weekend.

A student receiving an award (Photo from History Day in Connecticut website)
A student receiving an award (Photo from History Day in Connecticut website)
Fourteen Westport students, all from Staples High School, won awards Saturday at the "History Day in Connecticut" contest for various types of projects, all on topics related to history.

Here are their names, projects and the categories in which they won:

Senior division

  • Maddy Fodor, Angela Yu: Prudence Crandall; first place, Group Exhibit
  • Douglas Raigosa, Anna Eichhorn, Susan Zec: The Interstate Highway Act; second place, Group Exhibit
  • Georgia Fox: The Great Migration; second place, Senior Paper
  • Aaron Samuels won third place in the senior division's individual documentary category for The Migration From and To: A Jewish History of Waterbury. The same work also won him a special award for "Outstanding Entry that Incorporates Jewish Heritage and/or a Jewish Personality."

Special Awards division

  • Nicolas Ribolla: Columbia Records: The Story of the CT Music Industry, Outstanding Entry in the Arts
  • Emma Lederer and Caroline Suppan: Second Amendment; special awards division: Outstanding Entry Related to CT Law
  • George Menz, Jackson Daines, Raymond Chien, & Simon Ginsberg: Watches and Radiation: The Radium Girls: Outstanding Entry Related to Work in CT

Here are excerpts from a news release about the event:

Not even a steady downpour could keep 400 students, their teachers and families from making the trip to Central Connecticut State University for the annual History Day in Connecticut State Contest on Saturday, April 26.

Students in grades 6-12, from every corner of the state, worked for months to develop history projects for their respective Regional Contest.

Those who placed in the top three in each category were able to move on to Saturday’s contest, which decided who would represent Connecticut at the National History Day Contest in June.

The theme for this year’s contest was Rights and Responsibilities in History and students were able to compete in five different categories; including Exhibits, Performances, Websites, Documentaries or Research Paper. The competition is broken up into two divisions, the Senior Division (grades 9-12) and the Junior Division (grades 6-8).

Throughout the morning, the CCSU campus was peppered with students in period costumes and formal wear preparing to present their projects to the History Day judges.

The judging staff, which was made up of volunteers from across the state, interviewed the individual students and groups in order to assess their knowledge of the subject matter. The day rolled by with many students and teachers sharing stories of the new things they had learned.

The State Contest culminated with an Awards Ceremony where special prizes were handed out and students found out if they would be representing their state at the prestigious National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland. [...]

The Awards Ceremony took place in a packed Welte Auditorium and kicked off with the playing of the National Anthem by the First Company Governor’s Foot Guard Band. Medals for a top three finish were awarded, plus over twenty special prizes. 

National contest

Students who placed in the top two within their category were invited to represent Connecticut at the National Contest, with the third place finishers serving as alternates. A list of the results is attached to this release.

Last year, the Connecticut delegation made a statement at the National Contest by finishing with two second place medals, one third place medal, a George Washington Leadership in History Prize, two Outstanding Entry Awards and one four-year scholarship to the University of Maryland.

Students were able to tour Washington D.C. during the trip and visit with U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) at his offices. This year’s National Contest will take place June 15-19 at the University of Maryland, just outside the nation’s capital.

About History Day in Connecticut

History Day in Connecticut is an affiliate program of the renowned academic program, National History Day (NHD). History Day in Connecticut is led by Connecticut’s Old State House with support from the Connecticut Historical Society, the Connecticut League of History Organizations and ConnecticutHistory.org. Major funding for this program is provided by Connecticut Humanities.

Learn more about History Day in Connecticut by visiting our webpage http://www.historydayct.org/ or liking us on Facebook. The National History Day website may be viewed at http://www.nhd.org/.


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