Staples students take home the prize at National History Day


Photo Contributed by Stella Corenthal ’21

Stella Corenthal ’21 and Sutton Lindau ’21 performing their project in front of the judges and other audience members. Their performance was about Mae Jemison, the first African American to travel to space. Corenthal and Lindau placed second in their category.

Walking into Honors United States History class on the first day of sophomore year of high school, one would normally expect that the class would be solely watching the teacher talk about all things history while students sit in their seats, staring at the clock. However, that is not the case at Staples.
Here at Staples, all students in Honors U.S. history are required to participate in National History Day. According to NHD, it is an annual competition where “students choose a historical topic related to the annual theme, and then conduct primary and secondary research… [and once they have drawn a conclusion] students present their work in one of five ways: as a paper, an exhibit, a performance, a documentary, or a website.”
This year’s regional competition was in Fairfield, Connecticut at Sacred Heart University. Of the 500+ students, an abundance of Staples participants won and are moving on to the state competition at Central Connecticut State University.
Group documentary was a widely successful category for Staples.
“I was so excited to see that we won,” Ellie Kaplan ’21 said. “We worked very hard all year, and our project was based on something that not many people know about, so it was really awesome to see that everything we put into it pay off.”
Jake Gersh ’21 additionally won in the group documentary category.
“I really could not believe it when I saw our names on the list of winners,” he said. “I would love to make it to the finals, but I am already so proud of the fact that we made it to states.”
Group performance is another category in which Staples took home the prize. It was the least participated in a category, with only four groups (check to see if that is right), and two groups from Staples will be moving on.
“Doing a performance was extremely nerve-racking because unlike all other categories, if we messed up our lines, it could have changed the entire outcome,” Stella Corenthal ’21, who placed second place in the group performance category said. “My partner and I also don’t have much experience in acting, so when we placed second it was a huge accomplishment.”
States were held on Saturday, May 4, at Central Connecticut College. Three groups who participated in states from Staples will be moving on to nationals on the week of June 9-13, at the University of Maryland, College Park.