Tennessee State Seal
Tennessee History Day Winners Advance to National Competition
(Published: April 19, 2010)

Months of research and hard work paid off April 17 for the 100 students and two teachers who won awards at the Tennessee History Day competition.

The winners are eligible to represent Tennessee at the National History Day competition, which will be held in College Park, Maryland June 13-17. The first- and second-place finishers automatically qualify for the nationals. Third-place finishers are eligible to attend if the first- or second-place finishers in their categories can’t attend.

Tennessee History Day, which was held at the Legislative Plaza, the Tennessee State Museum and the Nashville Public Library, attracted more than 200 students from across the state. The participants were all award winners from district competitions held in Memphis, Murfreesboro, Knoxville and Chattanooga.

The competition was coordinated by the Tennessee Historical Society with sponsorship provided by Humanities Tennessee and the Tennessee Department of State. Additional support is provided by The Memorial Foundation, National History Day, the History Channel and the MTSU Center for Historic Preservation.

“Congratulations to all of our winners and their fellow competitors,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “I know Tennesseans will join me in applauding their accomplishments and cheering the winners to even greater success in the National History Day contest.”

In the competition, students in grades six through 12 presented history-themed projects in a variety of formats – including museum-style exhibits, research papers, web sites, documentaries and even live performances. This year’s theme was Innovation in History: Impact and Change. Students were asked to examine how different innovations have shaped the course of history.

The judges – who included university professors, graduate students, high school teachers, archivists and other public historians – picked the winners from the 118 projects submitted.

Nationwide, more than half a million students participated in some level of History Day competition this year, including about 6,000 from Tennessee.

Since 1974, National History Day has grown from a Cleveland, Ohio competition with about 100 students to a national academic program that engages 2 million people annually.

For more information about the History Day program in Tennessee, including details about the state competition, visit http://www.tennesseehistory.org/historyday.htm or contact Kelly Wilkerson at 615-210-3360 or by email at historyday@tennesseehistory.org

Complete List of Winners

Patricia A. Bering Tennessee History Day Teacher of the Year in the Junior Division: Ms. Rebecca Byrd of New Center Elementary in Sevierville.

Patricia A. Bering Tennessee History Day Teacher of the Year in the Senior Division: Ms. Carrie Pfeiffer of Lebanon High School.

Special Awards for Best Projects in Military History

Sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars

In the Junior Division, the award went to Robert Marshall and Bennett Lapides of Pi Beta Phi School in Gatlinburg for their project on “Bounty Land Warrants: The Making of America.” Teacher: Suzanne Terrell  

In the Senior Division, the award went to Josh Dodd and Ethan Holden of Watertown High School for their project on “Tanks: A Revolution in Warfare.”Teacher: Barbara Marks  

Special Awards for Best Projects in Women’s History Sponsored by the Tennessee Historical Society 

In the Junior Division, the award went to Abby Huber of Greenway School in Knoxville for her project on “The Montessori Method: An Innovation in Education.” Teacher: Liz Shugart.  

In the Senior Division, the award went to Blair Toedte and Tasha Saunders of West High School in Knoxville for their project on “The Montessori: An Innovation in Education.” Teacher: Candace Greer.  

Special Awards for Best Projects in African American History

Sponsored by the Tennessee Historical Society 

In the Junior Division, the award went to Logan Craig and Ashleanne Zachary of First Baptist Academy in Knoxville for their project on “Songs of Freedom.” Teacher: Darrell Vandergriff.  

In the Senior Division, the award went to Brandon Holt and Cindy Ma of Martin Luther King Magnet-Pearl High School in Nashville for their project on “The Nashville Sit-Ins: An Innovation in Non-Violent Demonstrations.” Teacher: Fred Artibee.   

Special Awards for Best Projects in Tennessee History

Sponsored by the Tennessee Historical Society 

In the Junior Division, the award went to Emma Grace Thompson, a home schooled student from Coker Creek, for her project on “Innovation Ends Isolation: The Effect of the Telephone on a Small Appalachian Community.” Teacher: Sharron Thompson.  

In the Senior Division, the award went to Brandon Holt and Cindy Ma of Martin Luther King Magnet-Pearl High School in Nashville for their project on “The Nashville Sit-Ins: An Innovation in Non-Violent Demonstrations.” Teacher: Fred Artibee.  

The Society of Tennessee Archivists Awards for Archival Research 

In the Junior Division, the award went to Elisa Vandergriff, a home schooled student from Oak Ridge, for her project on “Written: Sequoyah’s Invention of the Cherokee Syllabary.” Teacher: Katie Vandergriff.   

In the Senior Division, the award went to Rita Pfeiffer of Hume-Fogg Academic School in Nashville for her project on “The Radio.” Teacher: Allison Halbrook.  

The Sequoyah Award for the best project accurately portraying the American Indian in History. 

The award went to Maranda Vandergriff & Lydia Taylor, home schooled students from Oak Ridge for their project on “Talking Leaves: Innovation of the Written Language.” Teacher: Katie Vandergriff & Lisa Taylor.    

Junior Individual Exhibit  

1st place to Dillan Edwards of Mountain View Elementary in Etowah for his project on “The Jungle.” Teacher: Kimberly Powers.   

2nd place to Tyler Hounshell of New Center Elementary in Sevierville for his project on “Proving the Past: The Impact of Radiocarbon Dating.” Teacher: Rebecca Byrd.   

3rd place to Kayle Kearns of Fred J. Page Middle School in Franklin for her project on “The Radio: “A Godlike Presence.” Teacher: Stephanie Gilbert.  

Junior Group Exhibit 

1st place to Caroline Rader & McKynlea Cable of New Center Elementary in Sevierville for her project on “Fight for the Right: The Impact of the 19th Amendment.” Teacher:Rebecca Byrd.   

2nd place to Stetson Spain, Patrick Perry, Jesse Holt, and Justin Yates of Jo Byrns Middle School in Cedar Hill for their project on “From the Farmhand to the Farm Machine: Cotton Picking Machine.” Teacher: Eric Hagan.   

3rd place to Laura-Katherine Feamster, Julia Navin, Victoria Schweer, and Heather Newlin of Hillsboro Elementary/Middle School in Franklin for their project on “Photography: Truth in Images.” Teacher: Toni Peterson.    

Junior Individual Documentary 

1st place to Emma Grace Thompson, a home schooled student from Coker Creek, for her project on “Innovation Ends Isolation: The Effect of the Telephone on a Small Appalachian Community.” Teacher: Sharron Thompson.  

2nd place to Miriam Ryburne of Greenway School in Knoxville for her project on “Peace Through Children: CISV, An Innovation with Global Impact.” Teacher: Liz Shugart.   

3rd place to Natalie Prodanovich of St. George’s Independent in Collierville for her project on “Evergreen Hand.” Teacher: Traci Erlandson.  

Junior Group Documentary  

1st place to Sophia Henderson, Graham Hardison, Brandon Babbitt, and Riley Clem of Episcopal School of Knoxville for their project on “Women in the Workforce: How World War II Changed American Women Forever.” Teacher: Ellen Petree.  

2nd place to Anne Batcheller and Alexa Ewan of Episcopal School of Knoxville for their project on “The Creation of Labor Laws After the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire.” Teacher: Ellen Petree.   

3rd place to Emily Conner and Lindsay Garner of Concord Christian School in Knoxville for their project on “The Atomic Bomb: The Secret Behind the City.” Teacher: Tammy Lightholder.  

Junior Individual Performance 

1st place to Kiyoko Reidy of Greenway School in Knoxville for her project on “All That Jazz: An American Innovation with an Impact on Music and Culture.” Teacher: Liz Shugart. 

2nd place to Emma McLeod of Greenway School in Knoxville for her project on “Puppet Uprisings: Impact of Innovative Theater.”  Teacher: Liz Shugart.         

Junior Group Performance  

1st place to Ashleanne Zachary and Logan Craig of First Baptist Academy in Knoxville for their project on “Songs of Freedom.” Teacher: Darrell Vandergriff.  

2nd place to Micki Werner, Makenzie Thomas, Claire Ballentine of Pi Beta Phi in Gatlinburg for their project on “Smallpox Vaccine.” Teacher: Beverly Daugherty & Suzanne Terrell.   

3rd place to Lauren Craig, Josh Davidson, Laura Reed, and Ashley Barnes of Dekalb Middle School in Smithville for their project on “Advancements in Telecommunication.” Teacher: Tonya Sullivan.  

Junior Website, Individual and Group Combined  

1st place to Tristan Hightower of Concord Christian School in Knoxville for his project on “The Atomic Bomb Disseminates America’s Position: United States Poised for Victory.” Teacher: Tammy Lightholder.  

2nd place to Logan Garrett of Vonore Middle School for his project on “Code Talkers: The Code that Could Not Be Cracked.” Teacher: Justin Woody.  

3rd place to Robert Marshall and Bennett Lapides of Pi Beta Phi Elementary for his project on “Bounty Land Warrants: The Making of America.” Teacher: Suzanne Terrell.   

Junior Individual Paper 

1st place to Ruth Simberloff of Greenway School in Knoxville for her project on “In Danger of Extinction: Impact and Innovation of the Endangered Species Act.” Teacher: Liz Shugart.   

2nd place to Abby Huber of Greenway School in Knoxville for her project on “The Montessori Method: An Innovation in Education.” Teacher: Liz Shugart.  

3rd place to Elisa Vandergriff, a home schooled student from Oak Ridge, for her project on “Written: Sequoyah’s Invention of the Cherokee Syllabary.” Teacher: Katie Vandergriff.   

Senior Individual Exhibit 

1st place to Caitlyn Sundkamp of Walden Home School in Signal Mountain for her project on “A Matter of Time: John Harrison’s Sea Clocks.” Teacher: Linda Neuhoff.   

2nd place to Jeremy Meister of First Assembly Christian School in Cordova for his project on “It came Like a Flash of Lightning - The Innovation of Nikola Tesla.” Teacher: Scott Johnson.   

3rd place to Matt Hensley of Chuckey Doak High School in Afton for his project on “Cyrus McCormick: Invented Genius.” Teacher: Kimberly Francis.    

Senior Group Exhibit 

1st place to Sarah Stokely, Jessi Reed, and Katie Caughron of Cocke County High School in Newport for their project on “The Cotton Gin.” Teacher: Clay Blazer.  

2nd place to Celeste McAlpin-Levitt, Rebekah Rhea, Katie Smith, and Madeline Stinnett of West High School in Knoxville for their project on “Still Standing: Leg Braces and AFO’s.” Teacher: Candace Greer.  

3rd place to Jordan Parker, Hunter Morris, and Chris Donaldson of Lenoir City High School for their project on “Henry Ford: The Great American Innovator.” Teacher: Rachel Frazier.  

Senior Individual Documentary  

1st place to Hannah Clevenger of Gatlinburg-Pittman High School for her project on “Foxfire: Preserving the Past, Changing the Future.” Teacher: Rebecca Byrd.  

2nd place to Caroline Rhodes of Lebanon High School for her project on “The Polio Vaccine: More than a Syringe.” Teacher: Carrie Pfeiffer.   

3rd place to Vivian Hughbanks, a homeschool student from Signal Mountain for her project on “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: The Ideas that Changed the World.” Teacher: Sue Hughbanks.   

Senior Group Documentary 

1st place to Maranda Vandergriff & Lydia Taylor, home schooled students from Oak Ridge for their project on “Talking Leaves: Innovation of the Written Language.” Teacher: Katie Vandergriff & Lisa Taylor.   

2nd place to Brandon Holt & Cindy Ma of Martin Luther King Magnet- Pearl High School in Nashville for their project on “The Nashville Sit-Ins: An Innovation in Non-Violent Demonstrations.” Teacher: Fred Artibee.  

3rd place to Blair Toedte and Tasha Saunders of West High School in Knoxville for their project on “The Montessori Method: An Innovation in Education.” Teacher: Candace Greer.   

Senior Website, Individual and Group Combined 

1st place to Robert Hernandez & Gary Moats of Polk County High School in Benton for their project on “Lights, Camera, Action: The Impact of Television on Society.”  Teacher: Dewey Esquinance.  

2nd place to Jason Van der Merwe, a homeschool student from Knoxville, for his project on “The Proximity Fuze: A Killer Innovation Which Saved Lives.” Teacher: Meryl Van der Merwe.  

3rd place to Alex Livesay and Rachael Bakowicz of St. Agnes Academy for their project on “Frank Lloyd Wright: Innovations in Architecture.” Teacher: Christina Lesh.    

Senior Individual Paper 

1st place to Thalia Spinrad of University School of Nashville for her project on “Scientology in the 1950s & 1960s: The Creation of the First Perpetually Changing Religious Doctrine.” Teacher: Pat Miletich.  

2nd place to Savannah Lockwood of West High School in Knoxville for her project on “The Electric Chair: Sparks of Controversy.” Teacher: Candace Greer. 

3rd place to Jacob Schiftan of University School of Nashville for his project on “Surgery & Anesthesia: Innovation in Medicine from 1800 through the American Civil War.” Teacher: Pat Miletich.    

Senior Individual Performance  

1st place to Michelle Woodruff of McMinn Central High School in Etowah for her project on “Margaret Sanger and the Birth Control Movement.” Teacher: Teri Blair.  

2nd place to Brandie McConkey of Sequoyah High School in Madisonville for her project on “AC/DC: The Story of Tesla.” Teacher: Lance McConkey.  

3rd place to Laura-Kate Gonyea of West Harpeth Christian Tutorial in Franklin for her project on “Sally Thomas.” Teacher: Sharon Wilharm.  

Senior Group Performance  

1st place to Jazmine Houston, Amber Toles, Tierra Collier, and Aliyah Price of Ridgeway High School in Memphis for their project on “The Cotton Gin & Enslaved Workers.” Teacher: Nancy Parrish.   

2nd place to Isaiah Bolden, Helen Shi, Hannah Park, Erin Amlicke, & Elijah Wilson of Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet- Pearl High School in Nashville for their project on “Vaccination: The Musical.” Teacher: Fred Artibee.