Evan Kelly Takes Second in Individual Documentaries at the State History Finals

April 7, 2023

The Bedford High School National History Day Team competed in the State History Finals/Massachusetts State Competition on Saturday at Winchester High School. The 2023 theme is “Frontiers in History: People, Places, Ideas;” the categorized projects could focus on Massachusetts, National, and/or World histories.

Evan Kelly presented in the Individual Documentary division and earned an invitation to the National Competition in June. Courtesy image.

Evan Kelly earned second place in the documentary category; his documentary is titled “Expanding the Frontier of Boston’s Rapid Transit System: A Fight to Move Forward.” Kelly said after working on the project all year, “It was nice to get another chance to show my documentary, and talking about my research with the judges was a great experience.” He will continue his journey at the National Competition, which takes place in June at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Looking towards June, Kelly said, “The state coordinators are offering feedback sessions before Nationals, which should be a good opportunity to improve my project.”

Ben Sedran and Emily Zhu won a special award for Best Project in Military and Maritime History for their project, “The Mediterranean Theater of World War II: Frontiers of Modern War, Learning Lessons in Blood.”

Hayden McAllister and Cameron Zhu received an Honorable Mention in Group Exhibits & Special Award: Best Project in Massachusetts History. Their exhibit is titled “Hannah Duston: The Legacy of a Frontier Folktale.” Earning an Honorable Mention is equivalent to third place. If one of the top two projects in their category is unable to go to the National Competition, they will be promoted. 

The 13 Bedford High School juniors who participated in Saturday’s State Finals included:

  • Taelyn Albrecht – “Chemist’s War on Prohibition: Government Pushes Frontier of What is Ethical in Law Enforcement” (Individual Exhibit) 
  • Jackie Cutrona – “The Izieu Home” (Individual Website) 
  • Josie Donnelly – “Ukraine: A Country Created on the European Frontier” (Individual Website) 
  • Jasleen Kaur – “First Aviators: The Frontier of Flight” (Group Website)
  • Evan Kelly – “Expanding the Frontier of Boston’s Rapid Transit System: A Fight to Move Forward” (Individual Documentary)
  • Hayden McAllister – “Hannah Dutton: The Legacy of a Frontier Folktale” (Group Exhibit)
  • Samantha Nappi – “First Aviators: The Frontier of Flight” (Group Website) 
  • Emma Purtell – “Feminism Through Fashion: A New Frontier for Women’s Rights in the ’60s and ’70s” (Individual Exhibit)
  • Nik Ryabinkin – “Joe Kittinger: A Leap Into a New Frontier” (Individual Documentary)
  • Ben Sedran – “The Mediterranean Theater of World War II: Frontiers of Modern Warfare: Learning Lessons in Blood” (Group Documentary) 
  • Raaga Vakamalla – “The Immigration Act of 1924: The Frontier Between the U.S. and Immigrants” (Individual Website)
  • Cameron Zhu – “Hannah Dutton: The Legacy of a Frontier Folktale” (Group Exhibit)
  • Emily Zhu – “The Mediterranean Theater of World War II: Frontiers of Modern Warfare: Learning Lessons in Blood” (Group Documentary)

Patrick Culhane, the U.S. II history teacher at BHS and advisor to the NHD Team, said regardless of the competition aspect, “NHD is an exciting way for students to study and learn about historical issues, ideas, people, and events.” Kelly reflected, “I’m really proud of our BHS team and my classmates. Bedford had an outstanding group of projects.”

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