WLC essay winners, teachers honored

MERRIMACK – Merrimack Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8641 celebrated Loyalty Day with a dinner on April 23 honoring the Wilton-Lyndeborough Cooperative winners of the Voice of Democracy Essay and Patriots Pen Essay.

Voice of Democracy winners were: First, Jude Roberts; second, Madison Crawford; third, Nicholas Kennedy.

Patriots Pen Essay winners were: First, Sean Tisa; second, Alexandra Tisa; third, Jacqueline Hayden.

In addition, WLC English teacher Marcia Contarino was named Citizenship Teacher for the high school and English teacher Laura Bujak was named Teacher of the Year for the middle school.

The post also honored Master Patrolman John Dudash, firefighter Lt. Shawn Brechtel and EMT William Dodge.

The Voice of Democracy Scholarship Program was started in 1947 by the National Association of Broadcasters. The VFW became a principal sponsor in the late 1950s, and took over the program in 1961. The contest provides students in grades 9-12 an opportunity to express themselves in regard to democratic ideas and principles. About 40,000 students participate each year, and the VFW awards more than $2 million in scholarships every year.

This year’s theme was “The America I Believe In.”

The Patriots Pen Essay contest for middle school students began in 1995 as a way to encourage young minds to examine American history and modern society, and to provide a way to improve writing skills.

This year’s theme was “My Responsibility to America.”