Students Win 20 Category Awards in 2022 Virginia History Day Competition

By Communication and Community Relations
May 04, 2022

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Students from Fairfax County Public Schools won 20 category awards in the 2022 Virginia History Day competition, held at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture in Richmond, and based on the theme, “Debate and Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences.” Ten students won first place awards.

The top two entries in each category and age division at the state level will compete at the National History Day finals.

In addition, Jill Shull from Haycock Elementary won the Brenton S. Halsey Teaching Excellence Award, and Kathleen Stankiewicz from Langley High School won the District 5 Teacher of the Year Award

Six special awards also went to FCPS students.

First place winners include:

  • Junior Group Exhibit: “Paving a Path to Childhood: The Keating Owens Act” by Charlotte Hahn and Madeleine Mowrey, Haycock Elementary. 
  • Senior Group Exhibit: “E Aihue Means to Steal” by Tanishi Dasgupta, Teresa Seraphin, and Niyathi Jag, Westfield High School. 
  • Junior Group Performance: “The Protestant Reformation” by April Sheng and Hannah Wibowo, Haycock Elementary School. 
  • Junior Group Website: “The U2 Spy Plane Incident, A Diplomatic Failure” by David Ahn and Adam Zhao, Haycock Elementary. 
  • Senior Group Website: “The India-Pakistan Divide: The Overlooked Debate Behind the Partition” by Sarayu Jilludumudi and Ishi Velpula, West Springfield High School. 
  • Junior Individual Documentary: “New World Order Through Debate and Diplomacy: The Establishment of the United Nations” by Elaine Zhang, Haycock Elementary School. 
  • Junior Individual Exhibit: “Bootlegging, Beer and Booze: The Great American Experience” by Zoe Limberg, Whitman Middle School. 
  • Senior Individual Exhibit: “World War Zero: Diplomacy in the Treaty of Portsmouth” by Mansi Bhardwaj, Langley High School. 
  • Youth/Elementary Individual Exhibit: “Igniting Debate and Reform: How the U.S. Boxer Indemnity Scholarship Program Shaped China’s Modernization” by Ethan Zhang, Churchill Road Elementary School. 
  • Junior Individual Performance: “The Outer Space Treaty: The Senate Debate” by Calvin Hurwitz, Haycock Elementary School.

Awards were also presented to:

  • Senior Group Documentary, second place: “The Scopes Trial: How it Changed America Forever” by Ryan Nguyen, Austin Nguyen, and Noah Walls, West Springfield High School. 
  • Junior Group Exhibit, third place: “The Radium Girls” by Bridget Proto and Emma Tao, Haycock Elementary School. 
  • Senior Group Performance, second place: “1793 Philadelphia Yellow Fever” by Chloe Nasr and Kaitlyn James, West Springfield High School. 
  • Senior Group Website, second place: “Roe v. Wade: The Fight for Reproductive Rights” by Samara Alazar and Manishka Nair, West Springfield High School. 
  • Senior Individual Exhibit, third place: “Evolution on Trial: The Scopes Trial and the Debate Between Science and Religion” by Charlotte Witzel, West Springfield High School. 
  • Senior Individual Performance, third place: “Cold War Musical Revue” by Nicholas Brunson, West Springfield High School. 
  • Senior Individual Performance, second place: “The Antarctic Treaty: Choosing Peace for a Frozen Continent” by Jacqueline Gauthier, Langley High School. 
  • Junior Paper, second place: “The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965: Debate & Diplomacy Over the National Origins Quota” by Sabina Hagen, Haycock Elementary School. 
  • Senior Paper, second place: “Building the Future with Soft Power: How Taiwan Utilized Internal Debate and External Diplomacy to Transition to Democracy and Address Derecognition” by Coco Ahn, West Springfield High School; third place: “Disastrous Diplomacy: The Impact of the Munich Agreement on World War II and Postwar Czechoslovak Recovery” by Mikayla Bartos, West Springfield High School.    

The following students won special awards:

  • Bobby Chandler Senior Project Award: “Radium Girls” by Adina Tewolde and Hiba Khalid, West Springfield High School. 
  • White House History Prize, Junior Division: “Resolving the Cuban Missile Crisis: Triumph and Diplomacy” by Tiago Studart, Haycock Elementary School. 
  • George C. Marshall Award in Diplomacy, Junior Division: “Selling the Marshall Plan: Domestic Debates and Foreign Diplomacy” by Edward Burros, Longfellow Middle School. Senior Division: “Disastrous Diplomacy: The Impact of the Munich Agreement on World War II and Postwar Czechoslovak Recovery” by Mikayla Bartos, West Springfield High School. 
  • Asalh Richmond African American History Prize, Elementary Division: “Harriet Tubman” by Capri Swinton, McKell Poulton, and Naya Kwitowski, Dranesville Elementary School.  
  • George Washington Leadership Prize, Senior Division: “The History of Pearl Harbor: The Notable Debate over America's Foreign Policy” by Crisley Ventura and Lelna Teshome, Westfield High School.