Calhoun’s Kacie McKeever Earns Gilder Lehrman Award for Documentary Film

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Kacie McKeever, a sophomore at Calhoun High School, was awarded third prize for Documentary Film in the Gilder Lehrman Institute’s annual Civil War Essay Contest.

The course is affiliated with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and is a project-centered research elective in American history.
“This year’s competition was especially close, and our staff was impressed with Kacie’s work,” read the recognition letter. McKeever’s submission was selected out of more than 900 entries.

The month-long project was researched entirely online and utilized video editing software. The topic of surgical methods during the Civil War was a personal choice of McKeever’s, as she is drawn to learning about medical history.

“The heroic era where we start to see old medicine transition into new medicine is fascinating,” she explained. “It was during the Civil War that we started to learn what anesthesia and morphine were. If there was no war, we probably, wouldn’t have what we know today about it because war times often go hand-in-hand with medical discoveries.”

Her social studies teacher, Donald Campbell, advised McKeever and other students on the project.

“Kacie has done wonderful research all year,” said Campbell. “She is incredibly perceptive and insightful. I'm really proud of her and so impressed that she won such a prestigious award in such a competitive contest.”

McKeever, Campbell and two members of her family are invited to the annual Lincoln Prize Dinner on April 16 at the Union League Club in New York City. They will also receive a copy of this year’s award-winning book, “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom,” signed by the author.