Winning Projects 2022

Debate & Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, and Consequences


National History Day is a year-long educational program for middle and high school students to research, learn and produce a creative project on a historical topic. The National Maritime Historical Society is proud to be an official supporter of this program, hoping to inspire young people to learn about maritime history.

Congratulations to all of this year’s winners, and a big thank you to all the hard-working teachers, coordinators, and judges who made this annual event such a memorable and rewarding experience!



Sutton Gore: 1st Place Senior Alabama

Senior 1st Place: “What Makes a Country a Country? The Montevideo Convention of 1933 and the Strange Case of Sealand”
Student: Sutton Gore
Teacher: Sharon Livingston, Westminster Christian Academy, Huntsville, AL




Adelyn Pelfrey and Eva Benton: 1st Place Juniors Alabama

Junior 1st Place: “Was the Sinking of the Lusitania Justified or a War Crime?”
Students: Eva Benton, Adelyn Pelfrey
Teacher: Sharon Livingston, Westminster Christian Academy, Huntsville, AL





Zachary Brash: 1st Place Senior California

Senior 1st Place: “All Hands on Deck: The Debate over Racial Integration in the United States Navy, 1861-1865”
Student: Zachary Brasher
Teacher: Karen McCormick, Elanoor Roosevelt High School, Eastvale, CA






Haleigh Allred, Mckenna Lee, Andrew Clark, and Diego Maldonado (from left to right): 2nd Place Seniors California

Senior 2nd Place: “On the Edge: Diplomacy of 1962 Prevents Nuclear Destruction”
Students: Haleigh Allred, Andrew Clark, Diego Maldonado, and Mckenna Lee
Teacher: Zachary Force, Temecula Valley High School, Temecula, CA






Junior 1st Place: “The Cod Wars: Iceland’s Victory Through Diplomacy and the Global Consequences of Their Success”
Student: Alexander Miller
Teacher: Jon Pang, Lakeside Middle School, Irvine, CA


Erika Rose Gates: 2nd Place Junior California

Junior 2nd Place: “The Pirate Who Saved America”
Student: Erika Rose Gates
Teacher: Jennifer Gates, Sanger Academy Charter School, Sanger, CA





District of Columbia


Etta Shalaty: 1st Place Senior District of Columbia

Senior 1st Place: “What to Find on the Indian Ocean Trade Route”
Student: Etta Shalaty
Teacher: Leslie Welsh, Capital City Public Charter School, Washington, DC

Junior 1st Place: “The Battle of D-Day”
Students: Sadie Bue, Maya Mackenzie
Teacher: Andrew Grover, Rose L Hardy Middle School, Washington, DC

Junior 2nd Place: “Bombs Bursting In Air – the Story of the Battle of Fort McHenry”
Students: Tyne McNamara, Maya Smith
Teacher: Atinuke Doherty, Stuart Hobson Middle School, Washington, DC



Senior 1st Place: “Big Stick: How the US Navy Became The Tool of American Diplomacy”
Student: Anshkumar Patel
Teacher: Susan Mullis, H.V. Jenkins High School, Savannah, GA




Kathryn Busko and Carolyne Sauda: Senior 1st Place Maine

Senior 1st Place: “Un-Dam It! How the Edwards Dam Removal Redefined the River Restoration Debate”
Student: Kathryn Busko, Carolyne Sauda
Teacher: Geoffrey Wingard, Bangor High School, Bangor, ME





Senior 2nd Place: “The Treaty of Portsmouth: A Diplomatic end to a Bloody Debate”
Student: Bryce Upton
Teacher: Adina Hunter, Noble High School, North Berwick, ME

Ethan Byram: 1st Place Junior Maine

Junior 1st Place: “Treaty of Portsmouth: How Diplomacy Led to the End of the Russo-Japanese War”
Student: Ethan Byram
Teacher: Christa Bui, Noble Middle School, Berwick, ME

Junior 2nd Place: “The Calm Before the Storm: How Bad Diplomacy Led to the Pearl Harbor Attack and America Joining WWII”
Student: Lucas Perry
Teacher: Adina Hunter, Noble High School, North Berwick, ME




Senior 1st Place: “Debate and Diplomacy on the High Seas: An Autopsy on the International Whaling Commission”
Student: Angie Leung
Teacher: Matthew Gardner, Lexington High School, Lexington, MA

Senior 2nd Place:  “The Trent Affair” 
Student: Jay Keshava, Arie Shalita, Riley Zakarian
Teacher: Kenneth Brooke, Needham High School, Needham, MA

Junior 1st Place: “Cuban Missile Crisis: How Debate and Diplomacy Prevented Global Annihilation”
Student: Chloe Breitling, Anna Vakoc
Teacher: Jason Levy, Ottoson Middle School, Arlington, MA


North Carolina


ShaoYuan Su: Senior 1st Place North Carolina

Senior 1st Place: “Is the Pen Really Mightier than the Sword? Naval Influences on 19th Century American Diplomacy”
Student: ShaoYuan Su
Teacher: Naomi Barlaz, Cary Academy, Cary, NC






Senior 2nd Place: “Pearl Harbor: Entering World War 2”
Student: Keonte DeVone, Kaia Murphy, and Natalie Nichols
Teacher: Chadwick Goins, New Hanover High School, Wilmington, NC


Junior 1st Place: “The Lusitania: Debate and Diplomacy on the High Seas”
Student: Lucy Kilpatrick and Sarah Orr
Teacher: Anne Boyette, Hendersonville Middle School, Hendersonville, NC

Junior 2nd Place: “On the Brink of Annihilation: The Cuban Missile Crisis”
Student: Lucas Rogers
Teacher: Joseph Grant, Zebulon GT Magnet Middle School, Zebulon, NC




Ari Emam: Junior 1st Place Ohio

Junior 1st Place: “The Cuban Missile Crisis: Strong Character of Men Who Led the World to Safety”
Student: Ari Emam
Teacher: Joe Parrino, Birchwood School of Hawken, Cleveland, OH





Ethan Chen: 2nd Place Junior Ohio

Junior 2nd Place: “The Portsmouth Peace Treaty: President Theodore Roosevelt’s Double-edged Diplomacy during the Russo-Japanese War”
Student: Ethan Chen
Teacher: Frank O’Grady, Menlo Park Academy, Cleveland, OH





Rhode Island

Senior 1st Place: “The Near Catastrophe of the Cuban Missile Crisis”
Student: Peter Pellegrino, Ryder Taillon
Teacher: Christopher Stanley, Ponaganset High School, North Scituate, RI

Junior 1st Place: “Treaty of Tripoli”
Student: Cooper Ansaldi, Aiden Plaziak
Teacher: Kevin Holden, Narragansett Pier School, Narragansett, RI

Junior 2nd Place: “On the Brink of War: The Cuban Missile Crisis”
Student: Hunter Hetherington, Luke Lamson
Teacher: Michael Goudreau, Narragansett Pier School, Narragansett, RI


South Carolina

Senior 1st Place: “American Diplomacy Behind the Construction of the Panama Canal”
Student: Alba Hobbs
Teacher: Gloria Masterton, Legion Collegiate Academy, Rock Hill, SC

Keaghan Moskowitz, Emily Morrell, and Ajay Cullen, 1st Place Junior South Carolina

Junior 1st Place: “The Galveston Hurricane: America’s Deadliest”
Students: Ajay Cullen, Emily Morrell, and Keaghan Moskowitz
Teacher: Shenita Myers, Socastee Middle School, Myrtle Beach, SC






Senior 2nd Place: “The Cuban Missile Crisis: How Coercive Diplomacy Saved the World”
Student: Ashley Leyva
Teacher: Pete Bralich, Ysleta Young Women’s Leadership Academy, El Paso, TX

Junior 1st Place: “Sailing The Titanic’s Great Debate”
Students: Alexia Guevara, Madeline Ilhorn, Natalia Ramirez
Teacher: Jeanaline Celis, Wiggs Middle School, El Paso, TX

Junior 2nd Place: “Pearl Harbor”
Students: Diego Barreto and Landon Treague
Teacher: Kibbie Jensen, Sycamore Springs Middle School, Austin, TX



Senior 1st Place: “Sink Or Swim: Lusitania to WWI”
Students: Bharath Kashyap and Cadence Reiz
Teacher: Andrew Abeyounis, Grafton High School, Yorktown, VA

Senior 2nd Place: “President T. Roosevelt’s Triumph”
Student: Madelyn Brendel
Teacher: Andrew Abeyounis, Grafton High School, Yorktown, VA

 Junior 1st Place: “Debate and Diplomacy in the Cuban Missile Crisis”
Students: Josiah Baldwin and Sean McBride
Teacher: Walter Watkins, George Washington Middle School, Alexandria, VA



Junior 2nd Place: “Shunned From Sanctuary: The Tragedy of the St. Louis
Student: Dhaani Pohuja
Teacher: Nicole Kesler, Evergreen Middle School, Redmond, WA



Senior 1st Place: “The Gulf of Tonkin: Shooting at Whales”
Student: Brett Grzyb, Brady Nichols
Teacher: Scott Dyar, Eleva-Strum Central High School, Strum, WI

Senior 2nd Place: “Clean Water Act”
Student: Isaiah Kapalin, Cassandra Ullman, Gail Wery, and Cecelia Zold
Teacher: Jason Krings, Green Bay Southwest Highschool, Green Bay, WI

Junior 1st Place: “The Cuban Missile Crisis: The Moment Humanity Was Almost Destroyed”
Students: Emelia Erdmann and Alyssa Kopp
Teacher: Jerome Allen, Bay View Middle School, Green Bay, WI

Junior 2nd Place: “A Meeting of Diplomats That Changed History”
Student: Read Tuttle
Teacher: Martin Taft, University School of Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI