David McCullough Essay Prizes: 2020 Contest Winners

More than 200 rising 11th and 12th grade students in our National Academy of American History and Civics submitted essays. These entries were reviewed by a panel of our master teachers, with twenty-two finalists then reviewed by a jury of historians. 

The twelve prize winners, including links to their entries, are as follows:

First Prize and $10,000: Valerie Gottridge, Birch Wathen Lenox School, New York, NY, for “‘No Jews Are to be Permitted’: Understanding the Context of General Orders No. 11

Second Prize and $5,000: August Neumann, Marquette University High School, Milwaukee, WI, for “U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark: Barred from His Homeland, One Chinese American’s Fight for Birthright Citizenship

Third Prize and $1,000 (ten winners, listed alphabetically):

  1. Olivia Curtis, Wachusett Regional High School, Holden, MA, for “Transcendentalism: A Critique of Today’s World through the Eyes of a Nineteenth-Century Transcendentalist
  2. Daphne Glatter, Verona High School, Verona, NJ, for “The 1619 Project and the Federalist Papers
  3. Anita Kukeli, The Brooklyn Latin School, Brooklyn, NY, for “Coverture: The Unexpected Feminist Icon
  4. Max Leshne, High School for American Studies at Lehman College, Bronx, NY, for “Policy Set Loose in the World: From George Kennan’s Long Telegram to the Vietnam War
  5. Victoria Li, Hunter College High School, New York, NY, for “African American Cowboys: A Forgotten Legacy
  6. Luisa Metz, Glenbard West High School, Glen Ellyn, IL, for “Stamping Out Hunger: The Evolution of the American Food Stamp Program
  7. Ava Ondik, Council Rock High School North, Newtown, PA, for “Healing, Organization, and the Civil War’s Forgotten Hero
  8. Henry Pike, Cameron High School, Cameron, WI, for “The Confederate and U.S. Constitutions
  9. Ela Sabnis, Nicolet High School, Glendale, WI, for “The Hollywood Ten
  10. Katherine Shue, The Paideia School, Atlanta, GA, for “The American Automobile Shapes Its Country