Huntington students submitted hundreds of National History Day projects

History Comes Alive in Huntington

Huntington students submitted hundreds of National History Day projects

March 2 , 2021

History came alive as Huntington students submitted hundreds of exceptional projects in a variety of formats across numerous research areas for this year’s National History Day initiative.

Students spent months developing their entries. Participants vied in categories ranging from research papers to individual and group websites, exhibits and documentaries. This year’s national theme was “Communication in History: The Key to Understanding.”

 Huntington social studies teacher Lauren Desiderio coordinates the National History Day initiative.
Huntington social studies teacher Lauren Desiderio coordinates the National History Day initiative.

Teams of teachers served as judges for each category and spent hours evaluating the projects. The annual history initiative seeks to make history more relevant for students and requires them to use a variety of practical and creative skills during the development of their projects.

Huntington High School social studies teacher Lauren Desiderio coordinates the annual initiative along with the History Day club, of which she serves as faculty advisor. The organization’s executive board consists of Ally Kustera (co-president), Christopher Maichin (co-president), Emily Geller (vice president), Teddi Carnesi (treasurer), Cassidy Casabona (corresponding secretary), Emily Roberts (public relations), Hannah Roberts (historian) and administrative assistants Mary Grace Rorke, Emily Plachta and Allison Quinn.

“Despite the incredible challenges our students have faced this school year, they still managed rise to the challenge of creating a National History Day project and produced exceptional work,” Mrs. Desiderio said. “Close to a half of million students worldwide participate in this competition annually and I am very proud that our Huntington students are amongst them. This year's theme allowed our students to foster their intellectual curiosity and select unique topics. Students discovered how different methods of communication or miscommunication could be the key to understanding how historical events unfolded.”

The top place finishers in the recent local competition will now advance to the Long Island regional finals. Results will be announced on March 26. The state final results will be available on April 30. The national championship is slated for June.

“Due to the ongoing pandemic, the Long Island, New York State and national competitions will be virtual,” Mrs. Desiderio said. “Our students will compete against other students on Long Island with judging rounds taking place March 14-15. We are hopeful to continue our winning tradition.”

2021 National History Day Award Winners

Senior Division

Historical Paper

Third place​:​ ​The Delano Grape Strike by Jennifer Escobar

Second place: ​Communication in the Classroom: An Endeavor by the Deaf by Jasjeet Kaur

First place: ​The Unanswered Call for Justice: How Chinese-American Resistance to the 1892 Geary Act Communicated a Need for Change by Erin Ye

Individual Exhibit

Third place: ​WWII: A Battle of Persuasion by Theodora Carnesi

Second place: ​The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971: A Cry for Reform by Cassidy Casabona

First place: The Impact of Semaphore Communications on History by Sophie Bradford

Group Exhibit

Third place: The Communication of Equality: As the World Progresses, So Does Television by: Ella Kamenstein and Lillian Polak

Second place: From Fun to Fear: Johnson vs. Goldwater and the New Era of Political Advertising by Katie Browne, Emily Geller and Christopher Maichin

First place: ​Hello Girls: The Heroines of Communication in WWI by Markella Markotsis and Renee McKean

Individual Documentary

Third place​:​ ​The League of United Latin American Citizens by Jennifer Lopez Del-Cid

Second place: ​Ralph Baer: Communication Through Innovation by Ally Kustera

First place: ​Aaron Douglas: Retelling the Story of African Americans Through the Harlem Renaissance by Alexis Kaloudis

Group Documentary

Third place​:​ ​Dr. Frank Field by Rachel Morina, Mikah Schueller and Isabella Lima

Second place​:​ ​The Language of Art: How Pablo Picasso Communicated Through His Artwork by Sophie Lange, Brooke Parks, Olivia Polinsky and Reese Rinaldi

First place ​:​ ​The Enigma Code by Benjamin Edgar-McNerney, Lars Galvin and Chase Williams

Individual Website

Second place​: ​How Sign Language Helped The Deaf Become a Part of Society by Emma Hannigan

First place​: “​Mokusatsu” A Fatal Misinterpretation by Haileigh Smith

Group Website

Third place​:​ Hitler Hears a Who! The Lasting Effect of WWII Left on Dr. Seuss’ Children’s Books by Tallulah Pitti and Ainsley Proctor

Second place​:​ ​Anna Smith Strong: Communication Through a Clothesline by Victoria Mangan and Mary Grace Rorke

First place: ​Operation Mincemeat: The Series of Communications that Altered the Course of World War II by Talia Addeo, Laurel Bonn and McKenna Buffa

Senior Division Special Awards

U.S. Constitution History Award

Group Documentary

National Socialist Party of America vs. Village of Skokie: Changing the Lives of the Jewish Population by Adriana Abbatiello, Jada Joseph, Marley Josephy and Ava Tizzio

Native American History Award

Group Exhibit

Cracking the Code: The Navajo Code Talkers by Nicholas Zahn, Vincent Grassi and Kieran Husselbeck

Women’s History Award

Individual Exhibit

The Telephone Switch: Calling All Women by Grace Allen

Lee Allen History of Baseball Award

Group Documentary

The All American Girls Professional Baseball League: A Breakthrough for Women by Jane Callery, Keira Coulter, and Riley Murtagh

African-American History Award

Group Website

Poets of the Harlem Renaissance by Andrea Mani-Munoz, Jannel Marroquin and Emily Nunez-Ulloa

Asian-American History Award

Historical Paper

The Unanswered Call for Justice: How Chinese-American Resistance to the 1892 Geary Act Communicated a Need for Change by Erin Ye

Civil War History Award

Group Website

The Innovative Ways Patriotic Female Spies Advanced Communication During the Civil War by Laura Curtin and Anna Bell Young

American Labor History Award

Group Documentary

The Newsies Strike of 1899: The World Will Know by Megan Lewis and Lily Tierney

Presidential History Award

Group Documentary

Painting the New Red & Blue Parties by Jack Semelsberger and Eli Soric

Equality in History Award

Group Documentary

Stonewall Riots: How Communication Led to Social Reformation by Kimberly Granados, Keiry Palma and Daniela Seren-Contreras

Latino-American History Award

Group Website

Zoot Suit Riots by David Canas Granados and Ashley Genao

History of Physical Sciences Technology Award

Individual Documentary

The Entertainment Software Rating Board: A History of Frustration by William Berry

Clio Award

Group Exhibit

Pigeons: Aiding the British Through Flight During WWII by Charlotte Gordon and Mary Marinello

Principal’s Award

Individual Documentary

The League of United Latin American Citizens by Jennifer Lopez-Del Cid

Junior Division Awards

Individual Website

Third place: ​Morse Code by Alison Hahn

Second place​: ​Nellie Bly: A Journalist with a Passion by Eva Richter

First place​: ​Communicating Through the Punk Movement by Jordana Boxer

Group Website

Third place​: ​Communication in Auschwitz by Eli Levi and Timmy Tiliakos

Second place​: ​Rosa Parks Uses Her Voice to Fight for What is Right by Leila O’Toole and Avery Davidson

First place​: ​Fighting for Freedom: How the Stonewall Riots Changed American Society Forever by Ludo Cattano and Dylan Proctor

Group Exhibit

Second place​: ​Communication in the Underground Zhetel Ghetto by Manpreet Kaur and Olivia Lee

First place: ​King’s Communication by James Ruthkowski and Zachary Matthews

Individual Documentary

First place​: ​Communicating Through Art by Charlie Stanforth

Group Documentary

Second place​: ​Navajo Code Talkers by Emma Boyle and Erin Hanlon

First place​: ​A Way Out: A Tale from Underneath the Tracks by Molly O’Brien and Maggie O’Toole

Individual Performance

First place​: ​Extra! Extra! Newsies Stand Up and Speak Out by Chloe Donovan