Tonganoxie high school, middle school students honored with pizza party for winning VFW essays
Students from Tonganoxie High School and Tonganoxie Middle School presented their prize-winning essays earlier this month at the Tonganoxie VFW Post Home.
VFW Post 9271 joins in the national Voice of Democracy contest for high school students and the Patriot’s Pen for middle school students.
Awards were presented Jan. 11 to the top three places at both THS and TMS. Students read their essays and joined with family, teachers and school administrators for a pizza party the VFW sponsored.
Michael Mast won first at the high school level, while Brayden Cox placed second and Jordan Brown third. The title for this year’s Voice of Democracy was “My Vision for America.”
At the middle school level, Ellie Braun placed first, while Meredith Derzinah finished second and Cooper Cunningham third. “What Freedom Means to Me” was the theme for this year’s Patriot’s Pen.
Art Miller, VFW member and coordinator of the local contests, said about 110 TMS students entered this year. About 50 THS students entered their respective contests.
First-place winners received $100, second-place winners took $75, and third-place winners got $50.
Each year nearly 40,000 high school students and 125,000 middle school students enter the contests. The Voice of Democracy is open to grades nine through 12 and Patriot’s Pen is open to grades six through eight.
The national winner at the high school level earns a $30,000 scholarship paid to the winner’s U.S. college of choice. The middle-school winner at the national level wins $5,000. Both receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C.
Tonganoxie winners did not advance beyond the local level.
Look for the first-place essays for Tonganoxie to be published in a future edition of The Mirror.