SHEPHERDSTOWN – Local family members, teachers, guests and members of the Pack Horse Ford Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) recently attended the History Essay Competition Reception American at Shepherdstown station.
The purpose of the NSDAR American History Committee is to promote American history throughout the year by honoring significant historical people, places, dates, and events. It does this by sponsoring the American History Essay Contest. In many cases, the essay contest provides an additional opportunity for teachers to go beyond the existing curriculum. The committee also encourages chapters to promote American history in other ways, such as recognizing women in American history.
President Janet Younkin and committee members distributed the contest rules, collected student essays, organized the judging of essays, and hosted the reception. Out of 60 tries, 10 students won prizes consisting of first, second and third place. Chapter members and several non-members judged the winning essays. Essays are judged for historical accuracy, adherence to subject matter, organization of material, interest, originality, spelling, grammar, punctuation, and neatness.
Students followed the NSDAR competition rules to compose essays based on the following topic for 2021-2022: November 11, 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Imagine you have a brother who lost his life on the battlefields of France during World War I. You and your family attended the dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on November 11, 1921 in Washington, DC Describe what it meant to you and your family. Why is it important to remember those who gave their lives to serve our nation?
The welcome was given by Regent Cindy Nicewarner. She said, “It’s one of our chapter’s most treasured traditions, and every year we look forward to reading the first-place essays.”
The ritual was given by Nicewarner and Chaplain Lois Kimble. Younkin recognized Annette Breen from St. Joseph’s School and Cheryl Reilly from Charles Town Middle School. Younkin said, “We appreciate all students who have written essays and thank the teachers for submitting their students’ work. All students who have written essays are winners in learning about our nation’s history.
Younkin distributed award certificates and monetary rewards to each of the trial winners. A total of 60 students entered the essay contest from St. Joseph’s School in Martinsburg and Charles Town Middle School. Chapter member Joyce Englebright took photos of the winners.
First place winners received $50, a winner’s certificate and a bronze medal; second place received $25 and a winner’s certificate; third place received $20 and a winner’s certificate. All others received a certificate of participation.
First place winners read their essays to the public. The winners of the essay contest were:
Fifth Year: First Place – Noah Harding, St. Joseph.
Sixth year: first place – Victoria Knapp, St. Joseph; second place – Thu Hoang, St. Joseph; third place – Rebecca Par, St. Joseph.
Seventh year: first place, Jackson Allen, St. Joseph; second place, Lorna Cramaro-Foulkes, St. Joseph; third place, Freyja Dreflak, St. Joseph.
Eighth year: first place, Brandon Stuart, St. Joseph; second place, Arabella Cole, St. Joseph; third place, Bailey Summers, St. Joseph.
In addition to the chapter’s selection of regional winners, first-place essays were forwarded to the WV State Society DAR for further review. The WV State Society DAR has selected the following winners:
First place: Victoria Knapp, sixth grade, St. Joseph
First place: Jackson Allen, seventh year, St. Joseph
Third place: Brandon Stuart, eighth grade, St. Joseph
Honorable Mention: Noah Harding, fifth year, St. Joseph
First place winners move on to the East Central DAR division for judging. First place winners advance to national level competition.
Younkin served as chair of the American History Essay Committee for three years and announced that this award cycle was her last as chair of the committee. In appreciation for her leadership on the committee and for her unwavering commitment to this competition and to the students, she received a certificate from Nicewarner at the awards ceremony on March 5.
Nicewarner said, “Thank you, Janet, for your many years of service to this committee and for your three years of service as chair. You have done an amazing job with this contest every year! »
Following the ceremony, chapter members hosted a patriotic-themed reception. Members of the American History Essay Committee included Ann Christy; Becky Hill; Marsha Krashock; Cheryl Losh; Kathy Sholl; Patty Stealey; and LouAnn Stovall. Non-DAR judges included Mike Sholl and Stuart Younkin.
DAR members come from a variety of backgrounds and interests, but all share a common bond of having an ancestor who helped secure the independence of the United States of America. The girls are vibrant, active women who are passionate about community service by preserving history, educating children, and honoring and supporting those who serve our nation. Any woman 18 or older, regardless of race, religion, or ethnicity, who can prove that she is a direct descendant of an American Revolutionary Patriot is eligible. If you would like to know more about the Pack Horse Ford chapter, contact Regent Cindy Nicewarner at [email protected] To learn more about the work of the DAR today, visit www.DAR.org.