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Two Kettle Moraine middle schoolers win big at this year's National History Day competition

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Posted at 9:45 PM, Jul 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-02 22:45:29-04

For the first time in history, Kettle Moraine has two national champions in two categories from the National History Day (NHD) competition.

Emma M. and Krin B., two middle schoolers, were named champions at this year's event. The theme this year was "Debate and Diplomacy in History: Success, Failures, and Consequences."

Emma and Erin were given the title, “National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Scholar” and received a $1,000 award sponsored by the NEH. Additionally, Krin received The Next Generation Angels Awards from the Better Angels Society. Krin will be recognized for her excellence in well-researched history filmmaking in the model of Ken Burns, who is a renowned documentary filmmaker. Each year, The Better Angels Society celebrates the first, second and third place winners with a trip to Washington, DC. There they will be recognized as part of the Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Award for Film for their professionalism.

“I couldn’t be more proud of Emma and Krin,” said Terry Kaldhusdal, the KM National History Day advisor at Kettle Moraine Middle School during the press release. “They didn’t just read a textbook and answer the questions in the back. They conducted original, historical research and in doing so, had to overcome many obstacles."

The 50-year-old program has more than half a million students participate every year. Students conduct original research on historical topics of interest, the students then present their discoveries via documentary, exhibit, paper, performance or website. Presentations compete first at the local and state level first, then the top state entries are invited to the national competition.

Emma's chosen category was individual performance, she named her chosen topic "Lutie Stearns: The Difficult Debate and Wise Diplomatic Steps to Strengthen Our Democracy by Promotion the Establishment of Libraries across Wisconsin and the Nation."

Emma researched primary and secondary sources by traveling to different parts of the state and interviewing experts who were influenced by Sterns' work. After gathering her research, Emma wrote a script and performed a solo play.

Judges gushed over Emma's performance and the dedication she took to learn more information on Lutie Stearns.

Krin took home the first-place medal in the individual documentary category. Her documentary titled, "What They Taught Us: How Grassroots Debate and Diplomacy Shaped the Milwaukee Open Housing Movement," was based on the 200-day marches in 1967 and 1968. These marches were protesting racist housing practices occurring throughout the city and how the impact of the NAACP's Youth Council had on Milwaukee and the nation.

Congratulations to Emma M. and Krin B!

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