Ethan Hoenig, 8th grade Canyon Ridge Middle School graduate, was one of two Texas students to receive a Special Award in the 2022 National History Day (NHD) Contest. More than 600,000 students submitted entries this year, and two students from each state were selected as Special Award recipients.

In the NHD Contest, students conduct historical research on a topic of their choice within a provided theme. The 2022 theme for research topics was Debate & Diplomacy; Successes, Failures, Consequences. Hoenig’s paper was titled “Diplomacy in the Nuclear Age.”

“It was a mere coincidence that the Russia-Ukraine conflict would develop right as I started to revise for the state competition, giving me a chance to incorporate it into my paper,” Hoenig said. “Although my paper focused on events during and after the Cold War, I had always had a historical fascination with the World War I and World War II eras, of which I had enjoyed the technological developments.”

In addition to congratulating Hoenig on his accomplishment, Canyon Ridge MS Principal Wendy Sturdevant said that each History Day project represents a huge amount of effort and learning led by CRMS teachers Sarah Coffee, Miriam Eaves and Ali Miller.

“We are so proud of the work of our 8th-grade Eagle students who competed and advanced to the regional, state and national level as part of the National History Day contest,” Sturdevant said. “What an honor for Ethan to be selected for a special recognition as one of two students in Texas out of 600,000 students nationally.”

Hoenig acknowledged Miller, his history teacher, was a huge support as he worked on his NHD project, always pointing him in the right direction, offering advice and helping him refine his writing. But Hoenig said that even beyond those things, Miller was simply an excellent teacher overall.

“Mrs. Miller helped to make you feel the emotion of the event being taught by being expressive and interactive, which helped me stay engaged and interested,” Hoenig said. “Her classroom was filled with refreshing discipline and a two-way sense of respect. She was a very inspirational teacher.”

Hoenig said that he plans to continue researching historical areas of interest as he transitions to high school.

“While I enjoy 20th-century history, I plan to look more into the history of technology and its impact, perhaps extending to colonial and medieval eras,” he said. “History is great, and if you find something that snags your interest, it becomes very easy to delve deeper and produce something cool.”