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UNION GROVE — For the second time in three years, Union Grove High School’s student media team was invited to create a feature video for the annual Wisconsin Association of School Boards conference.

Union Grove is the first school to be asked by WASB to come back to make a video for a second year, because of the high quality of its previous work, according to Bill Wald, the school’s media arts educator. The school team initially videoed the conference two years ago.

Wald said he was shocked that the Union Grove students were asked to make a video again this year.

“It made the students feel good,” Wald said, because WASB had confidence in their abilities.

The WASB event draws education professionals from across the state to Milwaukee each year.

Wald said the Union Grove team was chosen to do the project after responding to WASB’s request asking for student video teams to shoot the conference and show viewers what they should expect to see, if they’re interested in attending in the future. The event features seminars, workshops and vendors.

The video

Ten students worked on the video, traveling to Milwaukee near the end of last January to interview important figures in Wisconsin education, like Tony Evers, superintendent of public instruction and Democratic gubernatorial candidate in today’s election.

The students traveled to Milwaukee in a van that also carried their equipment, including two shoulder video cameras as well as digital cameras for still shots. Over the two days, the students recorded almost 40 gigabytes of high-definition video. It took the team about two months to put the finished video together.

Lucas Martin, a senior at Union Grove this year, was tasked with interviewing keynote speaker, Ravi Hutheesing, a singer and musician and cultural diplomat for the U.S. State Department, as well as vendors in school construction and insurance who attended the conference.

Martin said the most difficult part for him was, “working up the nerve to talk to people.”

Wald said that because the theme of the 2018 event was “telling our story” Martin made sure to ask the people he interviewed what that meant to them.

“It was a new challenge,” Martin said of the experience.

Ellen Magdaleno, also a senior at Union Grove High School, said editing the video was challenging, since at the time she was just learning how to translate raw footage into a video that properly demonstrated what it was like to be at the conference.

“Hopefully we’ll inspire some people to go,” Magdaleno said.

Wald said it was motivating to the students that people across the state will view the video and judge it.

“It’s a huge responsibility, so they do feel the pressure,” Wald said.

Wald said that many of the students who attended the conference were shocked at what it takes to run a school district. Some of the students had never considered all the pieces that go into running a school, like working with banks, construction firms and food vendors.

“The kids were blown away,” Wald said.



Caitlin Sievers covers cops, crime and the west-end communities. She's a lover of cats, dance and Harry Potter. Before moving to the Racine area she worked at small papers in Indiana, Illinois and Nebraska.

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