Awards Announced Tonight at State History Day Competition

For immediate release

Release dated: 
May 2, 2021
Media contacts: 

Jessica Kohen, Strategic Communications, 651-259-3148, or Sammi Jo Papas, National History Day in Minnesota, 651-259-3439,

Awards Announced Tonight at State History Day Competition

Fifty-nine students from the Twin Cities, Duluth, Jackson and more, advance to the national competition in June

Tonight in a virtual award ceremony 59 students received first or second place in their category, earning them a spot in the National History Day virtual contest which will be held June 13-19.

Nearly 1,000 students from across Minnesota competed in the virtual 2021 State History Day competition which wrapped up tonight. 

Over the course of the school year, more than 11,000 students, grades 6-12, created projects based on the 2021 theme “Communication in History: The Key to Understanding.” This year the entire program has been conducted virtually, from student research and mentorships to the regional, state and national competitions.

View full results for each category, including 3rd through 5th place, honorable mentions, topical prizes and teacher awards. First and second place awards went to:

Junior Paper

  • 1st: Isaiah Miles, “Communication in WWI: Cher Ami Saves the Lost Battalion,” Avail Academy, Edina
  • 2nd: Luke Marsalek, “Operation Anthropoid: The Cost of Communication,” Carondelet Catholic School, Minneapolis 

Senior Paper

  • 1st: Natalie Miller, “Our Bodies, Ourselves: How the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective Communicated Women’s Health in a Time of Little Understanding,” East High School, Duluth 
  • 2nd: Caroline Hedlund, “Public Spaces as Borders: How City Parks have Created a Racial Divide in Minneapolis,” Breck School, Golden Valley

Junior Individual Performance

  • 1st: Aedea Winter, “Wartime Communication in the Military: Mail = Morale,” Winter Academy, Hermantown
  • 2nd: Scarlett Ellison, “Eleanor Roosevelt and the Declaration of Human Rights,” Sunrise Park Middle School, White Bear Lake 

Junior Group Performance

  • 1st: Alice Long, Gc Thomas, Maeve Zilka, Maggie Bergeron, & Mary Jensen, “Communication Misinterpreted,” Nativity of Our Lord School, St. Paul 
  • 2nd: Erin Strege & Neave Hennessy, “The Arrest and Trial of Angela Davis,” Twin Cities German Immersion School, St. Paul 

Senior Individual Performance

  • 1st: Anwen Winter, “Miscommunication to Mistrust: The War of the Worlds,” Winter Academy, Hermantown
  • 2nd: Caleb Craig, “‘That Problem in Jordan’: The Story of a Modern Day Salem,” Park High School, Cottage Grove

Senior Group Performance

  • 1st: Cai Hallstrom & Sydney McGrath, “The Fireside Chats: An Unprecedented Approach to Communication,” Roosevelt High School, Minneapolis
  • 2nd: Helena Squires Mosher, Mae Wrigley, & Sam Kellar-Long, “Reagan’s Martin Luther King Day: Miscommunicating a Legacy,” Open World Learning Community, St. Paul 

Junior Individual Documentary

  • 1st: Cecelia Erickson, “38 Questions: How One Survey Ignited a Voice, Sparked a Movement and Changed Our World,” Central Middle School, Eden Prairie
  • 2nd: Ronny Hustvedt, “The Duck Stamp Story,” Salk Middle School, Elk River

Junior Group Documentary

  • 1st: Elsa Wogen, Isabella Wittwer, & Van Nguyen, “It’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: The Fred Rogers Story,” Princeton Middle School, Princeton
  • 2nd: Claire Lee, Saanvi Kaki, & Shaunya Kumar, “Silent Spring and Rachel Carson: The Power of the Pen,” Central Middle School, Eden Prairie

Senior Individual Documentary

  • 1st: Sasha Allen, “Don’t Believe Your Eyes: How Falsified Visual Media Built the Cult of Stalin,” Eden Prairie High School, Eden Prairie
  • 2nd: Ava Krocheski-Meyer, “Mni Sota: The U.S.-Dakota War of 1862,” DeLaSalle High School, Minneapolis 

Senior Group Documentary

  • 1st: Augustine Langford & Liam Neary, “The Patient Comes First: The Mayo Clinic and its Unified Medical Record,” DeLaSalle High School, Minneapolis
  • 2nd: Elsa Carlson & Zoe Campion, “The First Lady of the Black Press: Ethel Payne and Communication in Journalism,” Open World Learning Community, St. Paul

Junior Individual Website

  • 1st: Nico Allen, “The Greatest Adventure in Advertising”: How the Committee on Public Information Sold War to the American People and the World,” Central Middle School, Eden Prairie
  • 2nd: Ayla Bornsztein, “Rosie the Riveter,” Murray Middle School, St. Paul 

Junior Group Website

  • 1st: Danchau Le & Daphne Kleinsmit, “Navajo Code Talkers: The Unbreakable Code,” Columbia Academy, Columbia Heights 
  • 2nd: Melody Li & Rouda Hassan, “The Zeebrugge Ferry Incident of 1987,” Central Middle School, Eden Prairie 

Senior Individual Website

  • 1st: Emma Ambrosi, “The Photography of Ansel Adams: The Key to Understanding the Importance of the American Wilderness,” East High School, Duluth
  • 2nd: Ronan Corley, “Printing Pamphlets: John Dickinson and the Origins of American Political Ideology,” Mankato West High School, Mankato

Senior Group Website

  • 1st: Aleila Pierre-Louis & Nikki Wuori, “Navajo Code Talkers During WWII,” Mahtomedi High School, Mahtomedi
  • 2nd: Alice Wagner-Hemstad, Kai Sackreiter, Soren Sackreiter, & Zach Bollman, “‘For the Love of Learning’: MECC and Communication through Educational Technology,” Como Park Senior High School, St. Paul 

Junior Individual Exhibit

  • 1st: Hannah Mason, “Averting Disasters at Sea: The Wireless Ship Act of 1910,” Ordean East Middle School, Duluth
  • 2nd: Kayden Greeley, “Miscommunication in 1918,” Nativity of Our Lord School, St. Paul

Junior Group Exhibit

  • 1st: Gavin Ziemer & Lou Swenson, “The USS Indianapolis: A Catastrophe of Miscommunication,” Avail Academy, Edina 
  • 2nd: Ava Kallunki & Elsie Ostmoe, “Jane and the Chimps,” Salk Middle School, Elk River

Senior Individual Exhibit

  • 1st: Ruby Clementson, “‘Sunday Bloody Sunday:’ Communicating Through Reports, Retaliations, and Justice,” Roosevelt High School, Minneapolis
  • 2nd: Taylor Fairbanks, “A Fight for the People’s Land,” Como Park Senior High School, St. Paul

Senior Group Exhibit

  • 1st: Hope Rubitschung & Taryn Lessman, “‘A Code Within a Code’: The Code Talkers,” Jackson County Central High School, Jackson 
  • 2nd: Drew Christian & Shannon McAuely, “Crashing the Way to Safety,” North Lakes Academy, Forest Lake 

About National History Day in Minnesota
National History Day in Minnesota is a co-curricular historical research program that builds college readiness and communication skills for middle and high school students. Each year 27,000 students from more than 250 schools statewide participate. The program is a partnership of the Minnesota Historical Society and the University of Minnesota, College of Liberal Arts. For more information, visit

Legacy logo

Program support is also provided by the Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008.

The Minnesota Historical Society is a nonprofit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. MNHS collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, MNHS preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history. Visit us at