You Be the Judge – at a National History Day in Kentucky Contest

NHDHotspot Main Button Rev (1)The Kentucky Historical Society is recruiting people to judge National History Day in Kentucky entries at the regional and state contests. This year’s theme is “Leadership and Legacy in History,” and students across the state are researching topics related to it. Starting in late February, they will present their findings in papers, exhibits, documentaries, performances and websites. Students who place at the top in regional contests can advance to the state contest on April 25. The top finishers at that event can move on to the national event in June.

We could tell you more, but the words that Kadie Engstrom sent last year to friends she hoped would answer KHS’s call for judges, are more meaningful:

Thought I’d send this notice out … as I received it today. This is the second time a plea has gone out for judges, and for me it’s one of the neatest things I do in a year. To see the young people at their best is very heartwarming. We see and hear so much through the news of young people at their worst, that being among young people who are the complete opposite is encouraging for me. They’re great to talk to, and when they describe their projects they are putting their best foot, leg, and arm forward. Their enthusiasm is catching.

It’s not a whole day of commitment. You’re usually asked to arrive around 8:30 a.m., and you’ll very likely be finished about 1 p.m., and lunch is usually included. You won’t need experience to be a part of this. Though there will be some judges who have participated before, many will be new that day. They often pair a new person with an experienced person; but even if that’s not your case, they provide materials that help you and give you an orientation before the judging begins.

I started brand new, gained experience very rapidly, and had a great time. I have considered myself fortunate to be invited back several times. I would hate to miss it.

If you’re waffling and would like more information … the folks at the Kentucky Historical Society are very accommodating, so call them … if you like. … They need a whole lot of judges, so your willingness to participate will be most graciously appreciated.

Thanks Kadie. More information on judging and National History Day in Kentucky is available online:


And, yes, KHS will be glad to talk to people who have questions. Just call us at (502) 564-1792 and say that you’re interested in learning about judging opportunities for National History Day in Kentucky.


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