NHD Districts sees nine students advance to states

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“My next steps for states would be looking at the grading sheets and applying the judges’ notes to my website so that it can be the best it can be for the competition,” Arias said. “Thankfully, I have Mrs. Porges and Mrs. Roldan by my side helping me throughout any challenges.” (Photo submitted by Angélica Arias)

After submitting their projects to the school fair in January, junior high and high school students brought their National History Day (NHD) projects to the district level Friday, Feb. 21. Competitors, led by history teacher and NHD head Mrs. Leslie Porges, traveled to Pompano Beach High School, entering projects following the theme “Breaking Boundaries.”

At the competition, students first presented their project then answered questions judges presented about their project and the way they developed it. 

In contrast to previous years, this year saw an increase in competitiveness. “There was a time when we walked into the district competition and all of our projects advanced to the state competition,” Mrs. Porges said. “More than anything, it was because there was no real competition at the district level. That is no longer the case; other schools have learned how to do a good NHD project.”

Despite this, multiple Heritage competitors expressed satisfied sentiments of their performance at District. Sophomore Angélica Arias focused on Antonia Novello, the first female, Hispanic and Puerto Rican Surgeon General of the United States, with her website placing second. 

“I feel very proud of my performance at districts. I was definitely scared that I might mix up my words or blank out, but thankfully I didn’t. I tried to answer all their questions with detail and confidence to show I know my topic and that I’m proud of my work,” Arias said. “The judges even complimented me on being very ‘articulate’ which made me feel so much better about my presentation.”

To prepare for States, in which the seven students who placed either first or second will travel to Tallahassee May 3-5, students will work on refining their projects. “The next step is to reevaluate the projects based on the judges’ comments and make improvements. This isn’t as much work as they had to do from school to district; it is more like fine-tuning,” Mrs. Porges said. “Overall, I believe that we did very well.”

Eight grader Romy Conn competed in the performance category, telling the story of Mr. Rogers’ plight for education. “My favorite part of my project was the opening scene,” Conn said. “I played the ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ theme song and lip sang it while changing my coat and shoes. It was very fun to learn.”  (Photo submitted by Mrs. Leslie Porges)


Junior High

  • Individual Website: Logan Weinger, third place
  • Group Website: Saumya Narang & Annika Rui Chen, second place
  • Individual Documentary: Kayla Giset, first place
  • Paper: Edem Schwartz, first place
  • Individual Exhibit: Mia Lopez, first place
  • Individual Performance: Romy Conn, third place

High School 

  • Individual Website: Angélica Arias, second place
  • Group Exhibit: Felipe Pasquatti and Sebastian Guerrero, first place
  • Individual Exhibit: Laury Joseph, first place
  • Individual Exhibit: Luca Gurgulino, Honorable Mention
  • Group Website: Gabriel Briceno & Sean Atinsky, third place 
  • Paper: Ryan Dokson, third place

Update: NHD coordinators informed Mrs. Porges Feb. 25 that sophomores Gabriel Briceno and Sean Atinsky, who placed third at Districts, will advance to States, thus bringing the amount of students advancing to States from seven to nine. The previous headline and version of this article did not reflect this recent update.

As a junior, Kayla Rubenstein spends her third year on staff as Assistant Online Editor in Chief and Business Manager of iPatriot Post and the Patriot Post, respectively. Outside room 9114, Kayla acts as the co-historian of NHS and as a member of Quill and Scroll, EHS and SNHS. Kayla spends her free time making travel plans for the future, bugging her younger brother and binge watching Criminal Minds. Additionally, Kayla loves to read and often writes book reviews to release the mix of emotions most books give her. However, don’t ask Kayla what her favorite book is; she’ll give you an hour-long breakdown of her top reads in each genre.

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