History

Press Release: High School Students Make History in Writing Competition 

Press Release from the San Francisco Historical Society.

2020 Fracchia Prize winners weave Golden Gate Park history into walking tours for the public  

Three history-loving teen writers will be awarded the 2020 Fracchia Prize by San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed and the Golden Gate Park walking tours they designed will be made available to the public for free, the San Francisco Historical Society announced today.

Mayor Breed will host the virtual award ceremony Tuesday, September 22, at 3:30 4 p.m. The winners will receive cash prizes and publication in one of the San Francisco Historical Society’s two history journals. The 2020 winners are:

  • First Place: Winnie Quock, George Washington High School: $2,500 and publication in The Argonaut.
  • Second Place: Indigo Mudbhary, Lick-Wilmerding High School: $1,500 and publication in Panorama.
  • Third Place: Luke Zepponi, Abraham Lincoln High School: $1,000 and publication in Panorama.

The prize, named after San Francisco Historical Society founder Charles Fracchia, recognizes San Francisco high school students who demonstrate excellence in original writing about San Francisco history. This year, the Historical Society invited students to create a guided walking tour of a section of Golden Gate Park in honor of the iconic park’s 150th anniversary.

The tours give the history of the park and the history of each stop on the tour and will be available to the public as brochures and/or as mobile apps in Spring 2021.

“The goal of the Fracchia Prize is to engage students’ curiosity about the history of San Francisco, explore what interests them, and  share what they learn with others,” said Lana Costantini, Director of Education and Publications for the Historical Society. “It’s essential for young people to understand how our city’s history has shaped where we live and who we are as a community. We also want students to know that history is fun.”

Entries were received from public and private high school students across the city, including Washington, Lowell, Lincoln, Saint Ignatius, Balboa, Lick-Wilmerding, Gateway, Galileo, and Sacred Heart Cathedral.

A panel of distinguished educators and park historians chose the winners of the 2020 Fracchia Prize competition after reviewing all of the entries.

“I was incredibly impressed by the students’ depth of knowledge and love of history that shone through in their writing,” said San Francisco Recreation and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg, who was among the judges. “Allowing the next generation of San Francisco historians to lead you through the park and its 150 years of fascinating stories is exactly what we need right now, and I’m thrilled these tours will be available to everyone.”

The San Francisco Historical Society would like to thank the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and San Francisco City Guides for co-sponsoring this year’s contest and participating in the judging of the entries.

For more information, please contact Lana Costantini, Director of Education and Publishing, San Francisco Historical Society, 415-537-1105 ext. 1.

To join the yearlong virtual celebration of Golden Gate Park’s 150th birthday with concerts, virtual tours, children’s activities and more, go to GoldenGatePark150.com .

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