TKA Students Triumph at Regional NHD Competition

(West Palm Beach, FL) –The King’s Academy is pleased to announce 24 students from the History Department placed at the Palm Beach County National History Day Competition last month, and will advance to the National History Day State Competition in Tallahassee from May 5th-7th. More than 1100 students from around the state are expected to compete.

In early January, King’s held its 2nd Annual National History Day competition last month. Students enrolled in Honors and Advanced Placement History classes created exhibits, documentaries, websites, performances, and historical papers to showcase research related to the contest theme-Triumph and Tragedy.

First and second place school winners in each category then competed against 10 public and private schools at the Palm Beach County competition held at Park Vista High School on February 8th. The King’s Academy students triumphed as they lead the competition and will advance a total of 13 projects to Florida History Day, the state level contest.

King’s students will be presenting a variety of project types and topics at the state competition.  First year participant seventh grader, Calla Giallombardo (winner of the junior individual website category) found inspiration for her project on her family vacation to Chicago this past summer. While conducting research on the Great Chicago Fire, Calla felt empowered by developing new skills in research and technology.

When asked about her NHD experience Calla stated, “I was so proud to show my website to my parents and other family members and now I am excited to present all that I know to the judges at the state competition.”

Callahan Burton, a sophomore student at TKA, was also appreciative of the research skills that NHD has enabled him to develop for his 1st Place historical paper, The Holy Crusades to Save Christendom: The Inception of the Tragic Hostilities between Christians and Muslims

“I am confident that the research that I conducted to write my paper has prepared me for success as I advance through high school and college,” said Callahan.

The competition also provided multiple opportunities for students to incorporate advanced technology skills into history education. Second year participant Kaihua “William” Hou once again placed first in the senior division individual documentary category at the county competition.  William began working on this year’s documentary over the summer after placing third at the state competition last May.  William visited both Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX and Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral to conduct research and interviews that he incorporated into his documentary Tragedy or Triumph: The Journey of Apollo 13.

“Our teachers strive to foster a passion for historical thinking and to inspire students to share their insights in innovative ways.  This year’s submissions far exceeded our expectations and truly were an inspiration to the history department,” NHD coordinator, Nikki Berger expressed about the history fair.

The National History Day program culminates with the national contest held from June 9-13 at the University of Maryland with first and second place winners from all 50 states, U.S. territories, and international schools from Asia competing.

List of County Winners:

Junior Division:

  • Website-Individual
    • 1st Place – Calla Giallombardo – Phoenix from Fire
  • Website-Group
    • 1st Place – Mackenzie Dunn, Sophia Willingham, Ella Rodila – The Boston Massacre: A Triumph and Tragedy in America’s History
    • 2nd Place -Victoria Backherms and Kinsley Kahlert – Von Trapp Family and the Struggles of Immigration
  • Documentary-Group
    • 1st Place -Ava Colaiacovo, Lola Riley, and Lily Baker – Space Shuttle Challenger
  • Exhibit-Individual
    • 2nd Place – Madison Ramon A New Nation Arises and Another Falls


Senior Division:

  • Website- Group
    • 1st Place -Madison Evasius, Tyler Chin-Lenn and Mikayela Smith – Japanese-American Internment Camps
    • 2nd Place -Julia Lubitz and Amanda Mickler – The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
  • Documentary- Individual
    • 1st Place -Kaihua (William) Hou – Tragedy or Triumph: The Journey of Apollo 13
  • Documentary- Group
    • 1st Place – Dina Dochniak, Maddy Diddle and Emilio Machado – Jacob Riis and Tenement Housing
  • Performance- Individual
    • 2nd Place – Nell Faveur – Martin Luther King Jr. and Nonviolent Tactics for Civil Rights
  • Exhibit- Individual
    • 2nd Place – Olivia Cunningham – From Trenches to Truth: WWI Art
  • Exhibit- Group
    • 1st Place – Isabel Maldonado & Kinsley Smith – The Indian Partition
  • Historical Paper
    • 1st Place – Callahan Burton – The Holy Crusades to Save Christendom



Senior Division Winners Mikayela Smith, Madison Evasius with TKA’s HS History Department Chair Mr. John Raines and Classmate Tyler Chin-Lenn

TKA National History Day Coordinator & History Teacher Nikki Berger with Sophomore student Callahan Burton who placed first on the Historical Paper in the Senior Division

TKA’s HS History Department Chair Mr. John Raines and TKA Junior Nell Faveur who placed 2nd in Senior Division’s Individual Performance

A group of TKA Students from the Junior Division Compete and Triumph at National History Day Regional Competition


The King’s Academy is a National Blue Ribbon School for Excellence in Education.  The private Christian school serves approximately 1,500 students from preschool through twelfth grade and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Association of Christian Schools International, and the Florida Association of Christian Colleges and Schools. The King’s Academy serves students and their families across Palm Beach County at its main campus at Belvedere Road and Sansbury’s Way in West Palm Beach and its satellite preschool campuses in Greenacres, Loxahatchee/Wellington, Palm Beach Gardens, Boynton Beach, and Royal Palm Beach. More information about The King’s Academy is available online at