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History Day Qualifiers Hope to go to Nationals in June

Phoebe Bakeman, Elena Guadagno, Isabel Moorman, and Main Street Middle School teacher Melissa Piscitelli. Their documentary project, “Propaganda and Hitler Youth” received a second place award. Not pictured, team member Lucinda Copans. (Photo provided)
Six Main Street Middle School students whose Vermont History Day projects have qualified for participation in the June 9–13 national history event are fundraising to support travel to the University of Maryland. National History Day is an annual event that has been showcasing student work from all U.S. states and territories for 50 years.

The Vermont History Day 2024 was held on Saturday, April 6, at the Davis Center of the University of Vermont in Burlington. The Vermont Historical Society’s Meg Mallory, outreach educator, said the nearly 300 student participants represented 21 Vermont schools, two after-school programs, and one community organization. In addition, six homeschooled students participated in the contest.

Both Montpelier and U-32 schools had substantial participation and success with awards in several categories defined by this year’s theme, “Turning Points in History.” As Main Street Middle School (MSMS) teacher Dan Maguire noted, the annual themes provide a broad context that is open to many options for exploring history. In addition to the Vermont History Day awards, several projects at each school were awarded prizes by organizations supporting historical research. The complete listing of awards can be viewed here

1st place paper – Fiona Murphy (“How the Crusades Shaped History”)
Montpelier Awards

Among the 63 MSMS students who participated in Vermont History Day this year, 11 qualified to attend the national competition; six are planning to go to the event. Maguire provided a list of the students who qualified, which means their work placed first or second in the Vermont competition. The names of those planning to attend the National History Day event are in below:

  • First place paper — Fiona Murphy (“How the Crusades Shaped History”)
  • Third place paper — Ella Groff
  • Third place individual website — Simon Eikenberry
  • Second place individual website — Micah Jacobson
  • Third place group website — Braeden Schuren Burns, Sammy Soria, Will Curtis
  • Second place group website — Hazel Nava, James Ashley Carr (“US Suffragettes”)
  • Deborah Pickman Clifford Award for Vermont Women’s History — Gideon Kass
  • Second place individual documentary — Gideon Kass (“Paging Vermont Women”)
  • First place individual documentary — Preston Averbeck (“The Formation of NATO”)
  • Second place group documentary — Elena Guadagno, Phoebe Bakeman, Isabel Moorman, Lucinda Copans (“Propaganda and Hitler Youth”)
  • First place group documentary — Charlotte Dostie, Oni An (“Henrietta Lacks and Her Immortal Cells”)
Contributions can be made at: gofundme.com/f/support-msms-students-journey-to-national-history-day

At Montpelier High School, Graycen Nichols, who previously participated in Vermont History while at MSMS, won first place in the Senior Individual Performance category for her project “Web Wave Radio: Let’s Talk About the Internet.” Her advisor was Jerry Tillotson.

U-32 Qualifiers

All the winning presentations at U-32 were in the Senior level of competition (grades 9–12).

Arwa Mint Meiloud’s “The Meiji Restoration” was awarded first place in the Senior Paper category. Mark Brown, advisor.

Second place in the Senior Group Website category went to Drew Frostic and Oren Winters for “Ernest Shackleton and the Endurance.” Kara Rosenberg, advisor.

In the Senior Individual Exhibits category, Brennan Swaim won first place for “1886: The Birth of the Automobile.” Second place, for “Pickett’s Charge,” went to Colby Tuller.

A first-place award for “Marie Curie: The Discovery of Radiumwent to Emma Pulsifer, Sylvia Emmons, and Sophia Giammusso in the Senior Group Exhibit category. 

 “Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell: A Turning Point in the Blues,” won first place for Tennessee Lamb in the Senior Individual Documentary category. Geoff Green, advisor.