Hingham Students Excel in National History Day Contest; Three Students Qualify for National Competition

HHS juniors Abby Meissner (left) and Sydney Collins (right) with HPS Director of Social Studies Andy Hoey after finishing their National History Day performance, “Ode to Phyllis Wheatley.”
HHS juniors Abby Meissner (left) and Sydney Collins (right) with HPS Director of Social Studies Andy Hoey after finishing their National History Day performance, “Ode to Phyllis Wheatley.”
May 26, 2020 submitted by Andrew J. Hoey, Hingham Public School’s Director of Social Studies, K-12 (photos courtesy of Andrew J. Hoey)

Hingham High School continued its exceptional performance in the National History Day program, and for the fifth straight year, HHS will be represented at the national level.

The state-level Massachusetts History Day competition took place virtually this year, with an online award ceremony held on May 4th. Topping off the honors were juniors Haley McConnell and Elsa Mosholder, who came in first place in the Group Performance category with their performance about the Women Airforce Service Pilots, and Ashley Buckeridge, who came in second place in the Individual Performance category with her one-woman show about the Stonewall Riots. These outstanding achievements earned these students a “virtual trip” to the national competition in June, which is normally held in Washington, D.C.

Hingham High School’s National History Day contest was held on February 8, 2020 at the Hingham Historical Society’s Hingham Heritage Museum. The NHD theme this year was “Breaking Barriers in History.”

Other HHS award winners included Carter Anderson, who received received an honorable mention in the Individual Performance category, Genevra Donnelly, who received received an honorable mention in the Individual Documentary category, Mikieh Sullivan, who received received an honorable mention in the Individual Website category, and Julia Burm and Pria Parker, who received a special prize in the Group Documentary category for “Best Project on Women’s Suffrage.”

Due to their excellent performance at the prior district-level competition, HHS was also represented at the state competition by Lillie Hamilton, Jade Larsen, Olivia Spielberger, and Jake Sutton. Runners-up also included Emily Beyer, Lilly Bryant, and Hope Thompson.

HHS juniors (from left to right) Lillie Hamilton, Olivia Spielberger, Kerry McAuley, and Hope Thompson present their National History Day websites.

As winners of Hingham High’s school competition on February 8, 2020 at the Hingham Heritage Museum, the following juniors competed with over 500 students representing 20 schools from the South Shore in the virtual district-level competition.

HHS junior Darrelle Comer with teachers Christina O’Connor (left) and Jamie Cataldo (right) after presenting his National History Day paper about Frederick Douglass, “The Voice that Spoke for Millions: Breaking the Racial Barrier.”


First Place: Jake Sutton – “Thurgood Marshall: The Fight for Equal Education”

Second Place: Megan Fennelly – “Just Keep Swimming: Ellen DeGeneres Makes Waves for All”

Third Place: Jade Larsen – “Breaking Barriers: Mendez v. Westminster and the Fight for Desegregation”

Fourth Place: Emma Fanuele – “The History of Vaccination”

Individual Documentary

First Place: Lily Bryant – “Eunice Kennedy Shriver: Hope for Intellectual Disabilities”

Second Place: Emma Beyer – “Robert Smalls: The Slave that Saved Himself and his Countrymen”

Third Place: Genevra Donnelly – “Ed Roberts: Forging a Disabled Rights Revolution”

Group Documentary

First Place: Julia Burm & Pria Parker – “Florence Luscomb: Liberty and Justice for All”

Second Place: Cassandra Dasco & Emma Grady – “The Hello Girls”

Third Place: Claire Kelly & Emma O’Horo – “Musicians Breaking Barriers”

Individual Exhibit

First Place: Cassie Foley – “Georgia O'Keeffe”

Group Exhibit

First Place: Faith Bealieu & Mia Melanson – “Ellen”

Individual Website

First Place: Mikieh Sullivan – “The Fragile Wall of Democracy: The Racial Discrimination of Japanese Americans”

Second Place: Hope Thompson – “National American Woman Suffrage Association”

Group Website

First Place: Nina Emens, Abbey Foley & Stella Robson – “Sandra Day O'Connor”

Second Place: Lillie Hamilton & Olivia Spielberger – “Annie Oakley”

Individual Performance

First Place: Ashley Buckeridge– “Out of the Closets, Into the Streets: The Stonewall Riots”

Second Place: Carter Anderson – “The Genetic Barrier of the First Organ Transplant”

Third Place: Gabby Macedo – “Not So Constitutional”

Group Performance

First Place: Haley McConnell & Elsa Mosholder – “We Can Do It: Chronicles Of The Women Air force Service Pilots’ Plight”

Second Place: Sydney Collins & Abby Meissner – “Ode to Miss Wheatley”

HHS juniors Oliver Fortin (left) and Frankie Gaul (right) present their National History Day documentary about Henry Ford to judges (from left to right) Jane Shute, Norma Atkinson, and James Conroy.

Established in 1974, National History Day (NHD) is a non-profit education organization that offers year-long academic programs that engage over half a million middle- and high-school students around the world annually in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. These research-based projects are entered into contests at the local and affiliate levels, where the top student projects have the opportunity to advance to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park.

HHS junior Sofia San Antonio presents her National History Day exhibit to judges Ruth Gilbert-Whitner and HHS English teacher Amanda Ross.

The NHD theme this year is "Breaking Barriers in History.” The NHD theme for 2021 will be "Communication in History: The Key to Understanding." Current sophomores are encouraged to begin brainstorming ideas for their projects as juniors next year!

HHS junior Carter Anderson performs his National History Day project, “The Genetic Barrier of the First Organ Transplant.”

Congratulations are in order to all students and their teachers: Ms. Molly Baggott, Ms. Jamie Cataldo, Mr. Patrick Doerr, Ms. Kathleen Dwyer, Mr. Andrew Hoey, Ms. Christina O’Connor, and Ms. Susan Petrie.

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