Tennessee Students Shine at National History Day

Monday, June 24, 2019

Thirteen Tennessee students took top honors at the 2019 National History Day competition, winning two medals and a special award. In total, 56 middle and high school students represented Tennessee in the competition, which allows students to showcase their creativity and research skills by developing projects with historical themes.

The theme of this year's contest was “Triumph and Tragedy in History.” Tennessee students, working either individual or in groups, submitted a total of 36 entries. The students earned the right to compete at National History Day by winning medals at the state contest, Tennessee History Day, which is organized by the Tennessee Historical Society and co-sponsored by the Tennessee Secretary of State's office and Humanities Tennessee.

The honorees from Tennessee are:

Tate Greene and Shelby McNeal, 2nd place, Senior Group Documentary

  • "For I Was Dying: The Triumph and Tragedy of Ms. Eula Hall"
  • Clayton-Bradley Academy, Maryville
  • Teacher: Liz Shugart

Rena Lui, 3rd place, Senior Individual Paper

  • "The My Lai Massacre: The Tragedy and Its Triumphs"
  • Farragut High School, Knoxville
  • Teacher: Angela Breeding

Alicia Dinwiddie, Sophia Hall, and Narisa Naidoo, 6th place, Senior Group Exhibit
Outstanding State Entry, Senior Division
National Museum of American History Exhibitors

  • "Willowbrook State School: The 'Snakepit' that Shocked a Nation into Reform"
  • Summit High School, Spring Hill
  • Teacher: Jackie Zigelsky

Arabella Sarver, 7th place, Senior Individual Performance

  • "X Girls: The Triumphs and Tragedies of Clinton Engineer Works' Lady Laborers"
  • Cross Creek Christian School, Sweetwater
  • Teacher: Tammy Sarver

Manal Aboushala and Naisha Chowdhury, 10th place, Senior Group Website

  • "Cracking Enigma: Tragic Cost of Triumph"
  • Pleasant View School, Memphis
  • Teacher: Andre Clarke

Sophie Anderson and Piper Greene, Outstanding State Entry, Junior Division
Junior Group Documentary

  • "The Malaria Project: The Secret Triumph and Tragedy of Modern Medicine"
  • Clayton-Bradley Academy, Maryville
  • Teacher: Nicole Whitecotton

Francisco Camacho and Riley Whitecotton, Best Project, Discovery or Exploration in History
Senior Group Documentary

  • "X Marks the Spot: The Rosalind Franklin Story"
  • Clayton-Bradley Academy, Maryville
  • Teacher: Liz Shugart

“I’m proud of these students for demonstrating excellence on a national stage and representing Tennessee so well,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “I know they will carry forward the lessons learned from their subjects and their efforts to put these projects together as they advance through their education and into their careers.”

“Our outstanding performance this year is a direct result of the many hours of hard work the students invested in their research,” said Tennessee History Day coordinator Jennifer C. Core. “The History Day competition cycle allows the students to revise their projects, based on feedback from the judges. Our students continued to work on their entries even after school ended for the semester, and their efforts were rewarded.”

Two educators were recognized with nominations for the 2019 Hannah E. (Liz) MacGregor Teacher Award: Debbie Slack of Morgan County Schools and Rachel Frazier of Lenoir City High School. Each received a framed certificate and $50.

Each fall, students and teachers nationwide begin work on the yearlong curriculum, which starts with competitions held in individual schools. The winners there advance to district, state and eventually the national competition. Nationwide, the History Day program includes more than a half million students annually from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa and Department of Defense Schools. The program engages 8,300 students across the state of Tennessee.

For more information about National History Day or Tennessee History Day, please visit tennesseehistory.org/tennessee-history-day.