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Art and Culture

Local Students and Teachers Win VFW Patriotism Essay Contests

todayDecember 22, 2023 26

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Five local students and two teachers were lauded on December 8 when they were announced winners in the 2022-2023 Harvey F. Eckhoff VFW Post 7674 VWF Auxiliary Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest. The contest offered three essay challenges based on age: Voice of Democracy, Patriot Pen, and Teacher of the Year.

The VFW Voice of Democracy essay challenged students (including those home-schooled) in grades 9-12. This year’s theme was “What are the greatest attributes of our Democracy?”

  • 1st Place: William L. Kiker-$300 (Fort Walton Beach High School)
  • 2nd Place: Stacie M. Robinson-$200 (Niceville Senior High School)

The VFW Patriot Pen essay contest was open to students (including those home-schooled) in grades 6-8. Their essay task was “How Are You Inspired by America?”

  • 1st Place: Cade Steele-$300 (Holley-Navarre Middle School)
  • 2nd Place: Myra Vaghy-$275 (Holley-Navarre Middle School)
  • 3rd Place: Brooklyn Black-$250 (Holley-Navarre Middle School)

Two teachers were also chosen as winners for their exceptional commitment to teaching American patriotism to their students.

  • 1st Place: Aly Perez-$300 (Holley-Navarre Middle School)
  • 2nd Place: Katrina Brownsberger-$225 (Fort Walton Beach High School)

Kiker and Steele now advance to the State level and then, hopefully, the national. Kiker will compete for more than $2 million in scholarships and incentives at the high school level while Steele will contend for a share of nearly $1 million in state and national awards.

June Scroggin
Author: June Scroggin

A staff writer for Emerald Coast Connected, June is (to quote her husband) “Like a fine old car driven beyond her warranty”. June, however, says she simply loves life and believes in finding the loving heartbeat of her community and enjoying the ride.

Written by: June Scroggin

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