award winners are named
Jack Uptmor, Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4902 in Cottonwood is proud announce the annual Voice of Democracy, Patriot's Pen and Teacher of The Year award winners. Joe Riener, awards committee chairman for the VFW Post headquartered in Cottonwood said, "Our post covers Cottonwood, Craigmont, Ferdinand, Keuterville, Winchester, Greencreek and the Prairie, Highland and Summit Academy Schools, as well as any home school students in those areas." This year's competition had more than 75 Patriot's Pen essays, written by 6th, 7th & 8th grade students and over 25 Voice of Democracy Speeches, given by high school students. According to Riener, the participation level was up from previous years, with the largest increase coming from the Highland School District.
The winners in each category are: VOICE OF DEMOCRACY, 1st McKenzie Candalot (Prairie), 2nd Kody Duclos (Summit Academy) & 3rd Kayla Duclos (Summit Academy). PATRIOT'S PEN: 1st Anthony Karel (Prairie), 2nd Abbie Uhlenkott (Prairie) & 3rd Raelyn Davis (Highland). TEACHER OF THE YEAR: Laurie Karel, K-5, (Prairie)
Candalot and Karel will go on to compete at the Idaho VFW District II level. The Voice of Democracy national first place prize is a $30,000 scholarship and the Patriot's Pen national first place prize is a $10,000 bond. They will need to win District and Idaho State VFW department level to compete for these top national prizes. Uptmor said, "I wish McKenzie and Anthony the best of luck at District and join with all the communities in our Post area in congratulating them on this first step!'
This year's judges were Shirley Strom from Craigmont, Colleen Wilson from Cottonwood, and Pastor Eric Williams, also from Cottonwood. Commander Uptmor and the VFW Post members wish to thank the City of Cottonwood for the use of the Community Hall for judging, and to thank all the students and faculty who contributed to the success of this year's awards program. He encourages all local area students to compete next year!