FLEMINGTON, NJ – Hunterdon’s 2018 Junior Historian is Christian Ventura of High Bridge Elementary School.

Christian was selected for writing the best essay in the contest sponsored annually by the Hunterdon County Cultural & Heritage Commission. The second place honor went to Austin Fritz of Tewksbury Elementary School.

The awards were presented by Hunterdon Freeholder Director Matthew Holt and Carrie Fellows, the Commission’s Executive Director, at yesterday’s Freeholder meeting.

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This year’s competition drew 81 entries from seven school districts and one home school. Essays are submitted by third or fourth grade students in participating schools, according to which grade level studies local history. In order to be entered into competition, essays must describe an historic place, and source citations are required.  

As the Grand Prize winner, Christian receives a $100 gift card, a certificate and a trophy designating him as the 2018 Hunterdon County Junior Historian.

His essay, “The Taylor-Wharton Steel Company” describes the history, local, regional and national significance of the company, the families who owned it, and the types of products it produced. His teacher, Lynn Hughes, was recognized by the Commission and Freeholders because her class’s essays exemplified the type of research and understanding of historic places the Commission hopes students will gain through this program. 

Second Place winner Austin Fritz receives a $50 gift card, a certificate and trophy. Austin’s essay, “The General Store in Mountainville” describes the community gathering place and how it has served in various ways since it was built in the mid-19th century. Austin is a fourth grader at Tewksbury Elementary School and his teachers are in Susan Wilkinson and Alyssa DeGrau.        

First Prize winners in the participating districts were presented with a certificate and a First Place medal. Five Second Place certificates and medals were also awarded, and seven Honorable Mention certificates were presented. All entrants received a Certificate of Appreciation.

Winning essays were selected by a panel of members of the Retired Teachers Association. Downloadable copies of the top two essays are on the county’s website.

A full list of winners follows:

Honorable Mention - District                                                                              

Delaware Township School

Laura Ferrante, teacher

Leo Rivera, Liver Eating Johnson

Franklin Township School

Jeffrey Weinhold, teacher

Stella Frigiola, Camp Buck vs. Technology

High Bridge Elementary School

Lynn Hughes, teacher

Aedan Dorwart, High Bridge Public Library

Ashley Krushinski, High Bridge Middle School

Chloe Anne Sahulka, Allen and Turner Iron Works

Isabella Marie Sahulka, Solitude House

Tewksbury Elementary School

Pamela Nugent and Brenda McCabe, teachers

Petra Karnaugh, Cokesbury Methodist Episcopal Church

Second Place, District

Califon Public School

Maryjane Medea, teacher

Hayden Sacro, Rambo’s

Delaware Township School

Laura Ferrante, teacher

Azra Cotte, Green Sergeant’s Covered Bridge

Franklin Township School

Jeffrey Weinhold, teacher

Joseph Hubert, The Uplands

High Bridge Elementary School

Lynn Hughes, teacher

Sky Bueb-Karp, The American Hotel, High Bridge

Tewksbury Elementary School

Pamela Nugent and Brenda McCabe, teachers

Braeden Mulroony, Something I Have Always Wondered About

First Place, District                                                   

Califon Public School

MaryJane Medea, teacher

Georgia DeCoster, Yesterday

Delaware Township School

Valerie Wheatley, teacher

Gavin Drew, Rosemont-Raven Rock Bridge

Franklin Township School

Jeffrey Weinhold, teacher

Maddy Brisby, St. Anne’s Catholic Church

High Bridge Elementary School

Lynn Hughes, yeacher

Christian Ventura, Taylor-Wharton Steel Company

Lebanon Borough School

Suzanne Lawn, teacher

Holden Schipper, Blue Star Highway

Tewksbury Elementary School

Susan Wilkinson and Alyssa DeGrau, teachers

Austin Fritz, The General Store in Mountainville

Home School

Maria Naccarato, teacher

Jonah Duckworth, Changewater Train Trestle

Second Prize, County

Tewksbury Elementary School

Susan Wilkinson and Alyssa DeGrau, teachers

Austin Fritz, The General Store in Mountainville         

Grand Prize: 2018 Hunterdon County Junior Historian                                          

High Bridge Elementary School

Lynn Hughes, teacher

Christian Ventura, Taylor-Wharton Steel Company