TKA Students Triumph At State NHD Competition

Nikki Berger, TKA history teacher and the school’s NHD coordinator.

Students at the King’s Academy excelled at the National History Day state contest held recently. National History Day is a year-long program that turns students into historians as they explore local, state, national and world history.

In April, 24 TKA students advanced in regional competition to the state level. The state-level competition featured 1,044 competitors from across the state competing against each other. TKA is excited to announce that two teams from the school ranked in the top three in the state and will advance to the national competition at the University of Maryland.

Sophomores Julia Lubitz and Amanda Mickler placed first in the state for the web site division, with their project “Zeal of the Broken: ZOB Resilience and Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto.” TKA juniors Madison Evasius, Tyler Chin-Lenn and Mikayela Smith placed third in the state for their web site “The Forgotten Tragedy of Japanese-American Internment.” TKA students William Hou, Olivia Cunningham and Calla Giallambardo were finalists.

The school had the most participants in the competition from Palm Beach County. Through the competition, students are encouraged to choose a topic that matches their personal interests. TKA students completed months of research, analyzed and interpreted their sources and arrived at conclusions in order to develop a well-thought-out thesis and create a product to highlight their findings. This year’s theme was “Triumph and Tragedy.” Students presented their conclusions by creating museum-style exhibits, media documentaries, research papers, interactive web sites and dramatic performances.

Students were not the only people recognized. TKA high school history teacher and the school’s National History Day coordinator Nikki Berger was selected as Florida’s History Teacher of Merit for 2018-19. The award was presented by Florida’s Secretary of State, National History Day, Florida History Day and the Florida Historical Museum. Florida Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee praised Berger’s passion for history education and commitment to academic excellence.

Berger’s experience with the National History Day program spans multiple years. Berger piloted NHD at TKA. Since starting the program in August 2017, Berger has launched professional development opportunities for faculty and advocated for additional research tools and databases for teachers and students. Under her leadership, TKA students have had success at the school, county and state competitions.

The King’s Academy is a private Christian school serving approximately 1,500 students from preschool through 12th grade. For more information, visit