Knox County students earn history awards

Beth KinnaneOur Town Kids, Our Town Teens

A total of 38 Knox County students won special awards or took first, second, or third place in the 20th annual East Tennessee History Day Regional Competition (ETHD). Winners were announced via Zoom on Saturday, March 6. This year’s virtual event featured 125 students and 78 projects. Grades 6 – 12 participated at the regional level from 16 public, private and home schools in 8 counties. First and second place winners, with third place winners serving as alternates, will advance to state competition, Tennessee History Day, to be announced by the Tennessee Historical Society on April 10. From there, state winners will advance to nationals in College Park, Maryland to be held virtually in June 2021. Regional competition co-sponsors, the East Tennessee Historical Society and the University of Tennessee’s Department of History, congratulate and commend these students and their teachers on their hard work and success. Knox County’s ETHD winners are listed below.


Junior Individual Paper:

First Place: Communication: Navajo Code Talkers in World War II Christopher Carter. West Valley Middle School: Teacher; Karen Peterman

Third Place,: The Ghost Army: Masters of Miscommunication. Jack Ward, Oak Grove Homeschool Cooperative; Teacher: Aimee Ward

Junior Group Website:

First Place: Communication During the 19th Century  Angel Hernandez and Jaxon Ratcliff, St. Joseph School; Teacher: Wendy Waxmonsky

Junior Individual Documentary:

First Place: The Bombe and Enigma  Dagan Haunhorst, St. Joseph School; Teacher: Wendy Waxmonsky

Second Place: The Black Death Pandemic Harper Higgs, Tate’s School; Teacher: Christian Shaffer

Senior Individual Website:

First Place: Nazi Propaganda: Communicating Beliefs Hannah Blake, L&N STEM Academy; Teacher: Karen Stanish

Second Place: Ida B. Wells Sarah Ahmed, L&N STEM Academy; Teacher: Derek Griffin

Third Place: The Silencing of Stonewall Lacy Bembery, L&N STEM Academy; Teacher: Alexis Hall

Senior Group Website:

First Place: The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire: Communicating Hazardous Labor Environments Annie Hodge and Izabella Maestroiani, West High School; Teacher: Lindsey Parks

Second Place: The Significance of the Code Talkers Mohamed Boshnag and Shane Evans, L&N STEM Academy; Teacher: Derek Griffin

Third Place: Operation Bodyguard Nicolas Gillespie, Duncan Gilpatrick, Thomas Theriot, and Celia Wright, West High School; Teacher: Buzz McNish

Senior Individual Documentary:

First Place: Culture, Communication, and the Legacy of the Cold War Max Harper, L&N STEM Academy; Teacher: Derek Griffin

Second Place: Thomas Nast and the Fall of “Boss” Tweed Luke Dahl, L&N STEM Academy; Teacher: Karen Stanish

Third Place: Operation Teapot 1955: The Unclassified Operation of America’s Atomic Veterans Ben Van Dyke, L&N STEM Academy; Teacher: Alexis Hall

Senior Group Documentary:

First Place: “Nanyehi: “Our Cry is All for Peace” Cristine Chen and Lilly Cooper, L&N STEM Academy; Teacher: Derek Griffin

Second Place: Number 96: The Soap Opera That Changed Lives Fiona Collins and Caroline Smith, L&N STEM Academy; Teacher: Karen Stanish

Third Place: Propaganda, the Heart of Any Movement Karsten Reed and Joseph Roddye, L&N STEM Academy; Teacher: Derek Griffin

Senior Individual Exhibit:

First Place: European Art Jakki Harrah, L&N STEM Academy; Teacher: Derek Griffin

Second Place: Code Talkers, Savannah Sasinouski, West High School; Teacher: Buzz McNish

Third Place: The Impact of Protests, Marches, and Sit-Ins Through History Carolina Jones, West High School; Teacher: Buzz McNish

Senior Group Exhibit:

Second Place: A Dark Communion, Salem Witch Trials: The Miscommunication Ashton Courts and Phoebe Smith, L&N STEM Academy; Teacher: Derek Griffin

Third Place: Espionage in the Civil War Jane Toth, Elexis Parker, Lisha Patel, Daniel Richter, and Grace Toth, L&N STEM Academy; Teacher: Derek Griffin

Special Awards

Dan and Mary Shannon Award for Best Use of Primary Sources, Junior Division

Second Place, Junior Individual Paper: Communication: Navajo Code Talkers in World War II Christopher Carter, West Valley Middle School: Teacher; Karen Peterman

Dan and Mary Shannon Award for Best Use of Primary Sources, Senior Division

Second Place: Senior Group Documentary: “Nanyehi: “Our Cry is All for Peace” Cristine Chen and Lilly Cooper, L&N STEM Academy; Teacher: Derek Griffin

Senior Individual Documentary Early Amateur Radio: The Hero of Communication Ryan Rearden, L&N STEM Academy; Teacher: Derek Griffin

Sequoyah Award for Native American History, Senior Division

Senior Group Documentary: “Nanyehi: “Our Cry is All for Peace” Cristine Chen and Lilly Cooper, L&N STEM Academy; Teacher: Derek Griffin

Making History Personal Award, Senior Division

Senior Individual Exhibit,: 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion Haley Gibson, L&N STEM Academy; Teacher: Karen Stanish

Information provided by Hannah McElroy, membership and social media coordinator for the

East Tennessee Historical Society.

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