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seal of florida

Florida Department of State
Kurt S. Browning
Secretary of State

For Immediate Release
May 16, 2011

Chris Cate

Secretary Browning Congratulates State History Fair Winners

66 Florida students to compete in national competition

TALLAHASSEE – Florida Secretary of State Kurt Browning today congratulated winners of the Florida History Fair. More than 950 students from 28 counties recently traveled to Tallahassee to compete in the state fair, coordinated by the department’s Museum of Florida History. The 66 students who finished in first or second place now move on to compete at the national level in College Park, Maryland.

"The Florida History Fair is a great opportunity for students to learn about world history and develop the skills that will help them be successful throughout their lives," said Secretary Browning. "I'm excited for the students who will be competing at the national level. Their hard work has made them great representatives for Florida."

The Florida History Fair was held at Tallahassee Community College and featured five competitive categories for middle and high school students who had already won in their school district. The categories included historical paper, website, exhibit, documentary and performance.

Florida is one of 49 states, along with the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, and the Department of Defense Schools as affiliates of the National History Day program. Thirteen Florida counties will be represented at the National History Day competition in June.  This year’s topic is Debate and Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences.

Student winners at the Florida History Fair included:

Junior Historical Paper
1st Place – Yasamin Sharifi, Seminole County
2nd Place – Brianna Leatherwood, Escambia County

Junior Individual Documentary
1st Place – Michael Paul Saturno, Seminole County
2nd Place – Shelby Kurland, Seminole County

Junior Group Documentary
1st Place – Matthew McGovern and Freya Wang, Hillsborough County
2nd Place – Robin J. Best and Erin van Gorkom, Alachua County

Junior Individual Performance
1st Place – Paul Reischmann, Pinellas County
2nd Place – Kael Madison, Escambia County

Junior Group Performance
1st Place – Jessica Hamacher and Jaime Kay, Pinellas County
2nd Place – Riley Farrow, Kimberly Ferguson, Brittyn Hamer, and Logan Saliga, Seminole County

Junior Individual Exhibit
1st Place – Tristan Simmons, Hillsborough County
2nd Place – Joanna Deng, Escambia County

Junior Group Exhibit
1st Place – David Contento and Andrew English, Broward County
2nd Place – Samantha Berner, Jordana Berner, and Gabriela Berner, Broward County

Junior Individual Web Site
1st Place – Chase Vaughn, Leon County
2nd Place – Alexis Beans, St. Lucie County

Junior Group Web Site
1st Place – Nicole Kimmel and Heba Nassereddeen, Seminole County
2nd Place – Alec Emser and Arber Muharemi, Pinellas County

Senior Historical Paper
1st Place – Heather Davidson, Volusia County
2nd Place – Ana Bautista, Duval County

Senior Individual Documentary
1st Place – Ernest Britt, Volusia County
2nd Place – Carl Zee, Hernando County

Senior Group Documentary
1st Place – Matt Mariutto and Nicole Mariutto, Broward County
2nd Place – Dan Allweiss, Jason Kiracofe, Zac Smith, Steven Tellios, and Michael Warren, Pinellas  County

Senior Individual Performance
1st Place – Mackenzie Yaryura, Manatee County
2nd Place – Amanda Patton, Escambia County

Senior Group Performance
1st Place – Theresa Button, Matt Fennema, John Paul Gagliano, Daniel Mangan, Leon County
2nd Place – Logan Elder, Alice Leavengood, Annie Schneider, James Wenz, and Adrianna Wenz, Pinellas County

Senior Individual Exhibit
1st Place – Nick Gupta, Escambia County
2nd Place – Jalen Benson, Escambia County

Senior Group Exhibit
1st Place – Asia Cravens and Maya Crosby, Escambia County
2nd Place – Maria Ferreira and Jose Serra, Broward County

Senior Individual Web Site
1st Place – Robert Mines, Escambia County
2nd Place – Evie Sobczak, Pinellas County

Senior Group Web Site
1st Place – Dominic Chiampi, Gabrielle DiLullo, Harrison Pincket, and Alix Rousseliere, Polk County

In addition, Candes Clifford from Pinellas County was awarded the Florida History Fair Teacher of Merit Award for her work with the history fair at Safety Harbor Middle School and her dedication to teach history to her students.  She will also represent Florida at the National History Day Contest.

The Florida junior and senior level winners of the Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award will also represent Florida at National History Day.  The junior-level winner was Christine Sermons of Bay County.  The senior-level winner was Suzanne Bates-Miranda of Hernando County.

To learn more about the Florida History Fair, the Outstanding County Award and Heritage Award recipients, and the sponsors, go to