National History Day winners announced for county


Topics ranging from the space race to the French monarchy to U.S. interstate highways were among those explored by winning students in the San Diego County National History Day competition.

The competition, a year-long educational program with the 2019-20 theme “Breaking Barriers in History,” was held recently at the San Diego County Office of Education in Linda Vista.

The winners were scheduled to represent San Diego County in the National History Day-California competition from May 8-10 at William Jessup University in Rocklin. The National Contest was scheduled to be held June 14-18 at the University of Maryland, College Park. This year, because of the uncertainty of public events caused by the coronavirus, the organization will host a virtual state competition that allows all students to participate. For 2020 only, judging will not include an interview.

Winners from the San Diego County competition are:

Elementary Group Poster: “Odyssey of Polio Eradication: Conquering the Crippler,” Sophia Hu, Ethan Leem, Henry Hou, Sycamore Ridge Elementary, Del Mar Union School District; “Elizabeth Cowles: A Female Mountaineer Wonder,” Catherine Hassanein, Lisa Akin, Solana Ranch Elementary, Solana Beach School District; “Earl Lloyd: Overcoming Racial Barriers in Basketball,” Christopher Lee, Jake Kim, Aaron Park, Solana Ranch Elementary; “The Oregon Trail: Opening New Territory by Breaking Geographic Barriers,” Derek Ying, Eddie Guo, Solana Ranch Elementary.

Elementary Individual Poster: “D Day: Breaking Through the Nazi Fortress Europe,” Waits Spielman, Urban Discovery Academy, San Diego; “WASPs Break Army Gender Barriers to Help Allies Win World War 2,” Darby Wright, The Nativity School, San Diego; “The Attack on Pearl Harbor,” Ian Noon, Francis Parker School; “Eleanor Roosevelt,” Eleanor Werland, Boulder Oaks Elementary, Alpine Union School District.

Junior Group Documentary: “The Original 9: Serving, Slicing and Smashing Through Gender Barriers,” Sydney Mafong, Kaelyn Liu, Solana Ranch Elementary; “Daniel Inouye: From Enemy Alien to President Pro Tempore,” Mitchell Janes, Nicholas Kim, Francis Parker School; “Robert H. Goddard: Breaking Scientific Barriers for Modern Rocketry,” Rowan Hannaman, Omraan Naim, Black Mountain Middle School, Poway Unified School District.

Junior Group Exhibit: “Love, Law, Liberty,” Keala Minna-Choe, Lily Chen, Pacific Trails Middle School, San Diego Unified School District; “The Space Race: Putting Man on the Moon,” Alyssa Quick, Walker Van Gilder, St. James Academy, Diocese of San Diego; “Breaking Technological Barriers: How Kodak Changed the Way We Record History,” Berlinmae Abiog, Abby Siu, Black Mountain Middle School.

Junior Group Performance: “Raye Montague: The Woman Who Broke Gender and Naval Barriers,” Irene Cervantes, Kriti Patil, Camila Soto, Black Mountain Middle School; “Rosie the Riveter: Breaking Barriers of Women’s Rights Beyond the Poster,” Ellie Sieck, Ava Muylle, Lindsay Butman, Black Mountain Middle School; “American Hats: Breaking Barriers of Using our Knowledge of the American Civil War,” Vivian Wheeler, Isabell Wheeler, Jane Wheeler, Classical Academy Middle School.

Junior Group Website: “Pele: Soccer’s Greatest Legend Inspiring Others On and Off the Field,” Max Strauss, Ryan Kang, Solana Ranch Elementary; “Breaking Gender Barriers: Women in Pants,” Eden Smith, Samantha Kim, Francis Parker School; “Dolores Huerta: Sowing Seeds to Break Ground for Migrant Workers’ Rights,” Joey Richardson, Dessa Kuritz, Melina Fernon, Annika Baumgartner, Francis Parker School.

Junior Historical Paper: “Overthrowing the French Monarchy: Breaking the Social Class Barrier,” Ayan Champsi, Francis Parker School; “Shakespeare: Breaking Barriers in the Elizabethan Era Through His Literary Accomplishments,” Max Rosenbaum, The Children’s School; “The International Space Station: How Countries Collaborated to Break Barriers in Space While Struggling to Do So on Earth,” Isaac Schmidt, Classical Academy Middle School.

Junior Individual Documentary: “Dmitri Shostakovich: Breaking Creative Barriers by Composing Under Stalin’s Scrutiny,” Kelvin Vu; “Breaking Race Barriers: Jacob Lawrence,” Milan Shah; “Trains: Breaking Industrial and Technological Barriers for Transportation and Commerce,” Anson Goebel; all from Black Mountain Middle School.

Junior Individual Winners: “Beatrix Potter: Breaking Literary and Gender Barriers,” Siena Valdivia, St. James Academy; “The Mastermind Behind Schindler’s List,” Keira Burrington, Classical Academy Middle School; “We Love Lucy,” Mattea Battenfield, St. James Academy.

Junior Individual Performance: “Marquis de Lafayette: The Hero of Two Worlds,” Imanii Poole; “James Madison: The Quill of the Constitution,” Victor Lopez; “Louis Cook: Breaking Barriers Through Stereotypes,” Rosie Martinez; all from Longfellow Spanish Immersion School, San Diego Unified School District.

Junior Individual Website: “Sputnik 1: The Beginning of the Space Age,” Akshath Akula, Solana Ranch Elementary; “Operation Barbarossa: Nazi Ideology in Action,” Thomas Houser, Classical Academy Middle School; “U.S. Interstates,” Brendan Barber, De Portola Middle School, San Diego Unified School District.

Senior Group Documentary: “Moth into Flame: Metallica v. Napster,” Taylor Gomez-Douglas, Adriel Lopez, Austin Alanis, Bonsall High School, Bonsall Unified School District; “Speed Without Safety: The 1955 Le Mans Disaster,” Liam Brownlie, Jorge Luna, Francis Parker School; “Breaking Barriers in Discrimination: The Zoot Suit Riots,” Andrea Calderon, Perla Hernandez, Bonsall High School.

Senior Group Exhibit: “Hands Across the Water: Breaking Barriers Between the East and West,” Keigo Omura, Jack Ducote, Sophie White, Francis Parker School; “Breaking the Barriers of the Iron Curtain,” Justin Siu, Aiken Wang, Daniel Tran, Maya Hsu, Eleanor Jung, Westview/Mt. Carmel high schools, Poway Unified School District; “Untying the Apron: First Women in Space,” Hannah Luna, Sophia Tyrrell-Knott, Nicholas Smith, Shea McGrath, Francis Parker School.

Senior Group Website: “More Than a Medical Anomaly: Breaking the Barrier of Implicit Bias With the 1993 NIH Revitalization Act,” Neusha Kharrati, Annie McGrath, Aadi Miglani; “Where No One Has Gone Before: Star Trek and a New Era of Television,” Jenna Kim, Aryo Kharrati, Sean Walters; “Printing a Revolution: Breaking Barriers to Scientific Advancement,” Elsa Baumgartner, Adelyn Phillips; all From Francis Parker School.

Senior Historical Paper: “Showdown in Appalachia: The West Virginia Mine Wars,” Connor Newton, Bonsall High School; “Breaking the Barrier of Silence: the Madres de Plaza de Mayo,” Lila Fowler, Academy of Our Lady of Peace; “A War of Chemists and Engineers: Breaking Barriers in World War I Combat,” Aadam Awad, Francis Parker School.

Senior Individual Documentary: “Home From the War: the Vietnam Veteran Experience,” Jefferson Smith; “Global Unification Against a Worldwide Menace: The Eradication of Smallpox,” Ian Lillie; “A Window Into the Future: The Tale of the de Havilland Comet,” Luca Bonanno; all from Francis Parker School.

Senior Individual Exhibit: “Solving Smallpox: The Medical Breakthrough of the First Vaccine,” Oliver Charat-Collins, Canyon Crest Academy, San Dieguito Union High School District; “Dolores Huerta: Breaking Barriers for Migrant Farm Workers,” Cate Hasler, Francis Parker School.

Senior Individual Performance: “Defend the Homeland! The Soviet Women Aviators in the Great Patriotic War,” Katharina Hass, Francis Parker School.

Senior Individual Website: “Breaking Pride and Prejudice: Disrupting Social Conventions of the 19th Century Through Women Writers,” Joanne Lee, Canyon Crest Academy; “Breaking Barriers at Camp David: The Thirteen Days That Redefined the Middle East Peace Process,” Ethan Kassar, Francis Parker School; “The Manhattan Project: Revolutionizing the Bomb,” Roark Lacey, Francis Parker School.


— Laura Groch is a writer for The San Diego Union-Tribune