2015 History Fair Winners

Elizabeth Fox, Frank Lukens and Harrison Snowden of Ponte Vedra High School won top honors in the annual St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) History Fair. Their project, “Sydney Farber: Cancer Crusader,” was awarded the Overall Most Outstanding Project, and the students were presented with a check for $150 from the St. Augustine Historical Society.

Over 1,200 students participated at the school level. The SJCSD History Fair featured 100 projects represented by 150 participants. The overall winners will be recognized at the School Board Meeting on Tuesday, April 14. Projects were on display at Valley Ridge Academy which also hosted the awards ceremony. Travis Brown, SJCSD secondary social studies program specialist, coordinated the history fair.

Participating schools included Liberty Pines Academy (LPA) Valley Ridge Academy (VRA), Sebastian Middle School (SMS), Fruit Cove Middle School (FCMS), Ponte Vedra High School (PVHS), Switzerland Point Middle School (SPMS), Bartram Trail High School (BTHS), Allen D. Nease High School (NHS) and Creekside High School (CHS).

This year’s History Fair also commemorates St. Augustine’s 450th Celebration. The SJCSD and the St. Augustine Historical Society sponsored a special St. Augustine 450th Celebration award. The winner was Trevor Schultz from SPMS with his documentary on Henry Flagler. Two projects on Henry Flagler by Mya Helhoski from SMS and Avery Lusk from SMS each received runner-up recognition.

Judges for the History Fair represented St. Johns County’s historical community. Prize money was generously provided by The St. Augustine Historical Society, The Colonial Quarter, The St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum, the St. Augustine Maritime Heritage Foundation, Brockington and Associates, the St. Augustine 450th Commemoration, Castillo de San Marcos, the Colonial Dames of St. Augustine, Smoothie King, Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum, World Golf Hall of Fame, the Northeast Florida Regional Airport, Fort Menendez at the Old Florida Museum, The St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum, Chipolte Mexican Grill, St. Augustine Maritime Heritage Foundation, The First Colony Exhibition in St. Augustine, St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Gardens, Publix Charities, RPM Automotive, JAX Vision Care.

The category winners are listed below.


Junior Division
1st Place- Ana Sophia Williams, SMS
2nd Place- Taylor Brown, FCMS
3rd Place- Catalina Casillas, FCMS

Senior Division
1st Place-Jacob Mier, PVHS
2nd Place-Joseph Sarci, PVHS
3rd Place-Ariana Genovese, PVHS


Junior Division
1st Place-Joshua Zalkan, SPMS
2nd Place-Aidan Mather, SPMS
3rd Place- Katherine Gargon, SMS

Senior Division
1st Place-Abel Haynes, PVHS
2nd Place-Alexander Celentano, NHS


Junior Division
1st Place-Alexander Brailsford and James Brailsford, FCMS
2nd Place-Isha Chekuri and Farah Contractor, FCMS
3rd Place- Sofia Martinez and Lynne Park, LPA

Senior Division
1st Place-Elizabeth Fox, Frank Lukens and Harrison Snowden, PVHS
2nd Place-Alexander Lasala and Johnathon Schott, PVHS
3rd Place-Nicholas Greco and Alexandra Hess, PVHS


Junior Division
1st Place-Chloe Vaughn, FCMS
2nd Place-Hayden Wardell, SPMS
3rd Place-Mackenzie Platt, SMS

Senior Division
1st Place-Victor Manly, PVHS
2nd Place-Perri Truster, PVHS
3rd Place-Sarah Thomasson, PVHS


Junior Division
1st Place-Natasha Najmi and Samantha Sberna, FCMS
2nd Place-Susanna Matza and Diana Coello, SMS
3rd Place-Madelynn Thompson and Delaney Cantrell, SPMS

Senior Division
1st Place-Paxton Threatt, Theodore Cheng, Julian Sanchez and Marc Moreira, NHS
2nd Place- Reagan Darrah and Molly Ronan, PVHS
3rd Place-Emily Benson and Jonathan Magiske, PVHS


Junior Division
1st Place- Sophia Nguyen, FCMS


Junior Division
1st Place- Mia Gomez and Skylar Kyle, SPMS
2nd Place-Keegan Bedell and Garrett Owen, SPMS


Junior Division
1st Place- Kelsey Zweibohmer, LPA
2nd Place-Trevor Schultz, SPMS
3rd Place-Wade Miller, SPMS

Senior Division
1st Place- Nicholas Lopez, NHS


Junior Division
1st Place- Camille Aguilar and Sanya Bansal, SPMS
In addition to the winners above, several special awards were presented and are listed below.

Great Leadership-provided by Smoothie King
Griffin Slack, SPMS

Exhibit Design-provided by Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum
Rachel Stewart and Lauren Laughlin, FCMS

Showstopping Research-provided by The Colonial Quarter
Kristopher Bierlein, Samuel Shaffer, Angelicabelle Rivera-Soto, CHS

Sports Legacy-provided by The World Golf Hall of Fame
Reis Buresh, Kiley Hurst and Megan Pagana, VRA

Website Design-provided by Brockington and Associates
Joshua Zalkan, SPMS

Visually Appealing-provided by JAX Vision Care
Kathryn Choate and Theresia Chvala, NHS

Fashion Legacy-provided by JAX Vision Care
Ariana Genovese, PVHS

Aviation Legacy-provided by the Northeast Florida Regional Airport
Emily Benson and Jonathan Magiske, PVHS

Ongoing Legacy-provided by the Fort Menendez at the Old Florida Museum
Manaal Saqib, LPA

Ancient History-provided by the Fort Menendez at the Old Florida Museum
Gavin Gundaker, LPA

Automotive Legacy-provided by RPM Automotive
Kassidy Helinsky and Kira Dortch, CHS

Animal Awareness-provided by the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park
Katherine Gargon, SMS

Pirate History-provided by The St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum
Ali Baghalan, VRA

Lifetime Leadership-provided by Chipolte Mexican Grill
Grady Gilligan and Joshua Miller, NHS

Scientific Research-provided by Publix Charities
Sreenivas Kuntamukkala and Grayton Walker, LPA

Historic Perserverance-provided by The First Colony Exhibition in St. Augustine
Anceline Imson and Reanne Zukowski, VRA

Historical Significance-provided by St. Augustine Maritime Heritage Foundation
Ana Sophia Williams, SMS

Twenty projects representing six schools were selected to compete in the State History Fair scheduled for May 3-5 in Tallahassee. History Fair Director Travis Brown is coordinating the trip. The participants are Alexander Brailsford and James Brailsford, FCMS; Victor Manly, PVHS; Jacob Mier, PVHS; Chloe Vaughn, FCMS; Joshua Zalkan, SPMS; Paxton Theatt, Theodore Cheng, Julian Sanchez and Marc Moreira, NHS; Elizabeth Fox, Frank Lukens and Harrison Snowden, PVHS; Kelsey Zweibohmer, LPA; Abel Haynes, PVHS; Ana Sophia Williams, SMS; Hayden Wardell, SPMS; Natasha Najmi and Samanth Sberna, FCMS; Reagan Darrah and Molly Ronan, PVHS; Nicholas Lopez, NHS; Alexander Lasala and Johnathon Schott, PVHS; Aidan Mather, SPMS; Perri Truster, PVHS; Taylor Brown, FCMS; Joseph Sarci, PVHS; Camille Aguilar and Sanya Bansal, SPMS.
The SJCSD History Fair is produced in conjunction with the National History Fair sponsored by National History Day. The project-based learning that is emphasized by the History Fair provides an excellent opportunity for students to showcase college and career readiness skills including research, writing, speaking and creative thinking while embracing history.