Students share patriotic essays for DAR contest
By Steve Herring
Published in News on April 23, 2012 1:46 PM
Norma Griffin, left, hands Briana Barnes her award during the Daughters of the American Revolution essay award ceremony. The essays submitted included topics such as Christopher Columbus and the War of 1812. Students from schools around the county entered the contest.
Home-schooled high school senior Heather Aycock enjoys competing in the Daughters of the American Revolution's American History and Christopher Columbus essay competitions -- not just for the research as much as self-satisfaction of a job well done.
"I like more than research seeing it finished and being able to step back from it and say, 'I did that,'" said Miss Aycock, who attends New Beginning Christian Academy. "Seeing the work finished is really inspiring to me that I could do something well if I really try."
Miss Aycock was among the winners of the American History, Christopher Columbus and Good Citizen Awards for the David Williams Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution who were honored at a reception at the Wayne County Museum on April 17.
"I know this is the DAR, so always you try to make it very patriotic," she said. "I think once I get my lead-in, my angle develops. In my paper, I talked about all of these people that were born throughout history leading up to today. But certain ones made an impact on our American history because of who they were and what they represented.
"Like I wrote, 'To make a true difference the actions that we choose must be done with conviction, wisdom, unwavering faith and courage.' And how one person who exhibited these qualities can set the stage for other accomplishments of other heroes is Christopher Columbus. I tied that into how he affected our world today."
Columbus gave people inspiration and showed that people can make a difference if they have courage to try new things, she said.
The essay competition, which attracted 115 students, is a tradition of the David Williams Chapter of the DAR, which will celebrate its centennial in 2014.
"I think (the contest) is very important," said Norma Griffin, chairwoman of the chapter's American History Committee. "The history that these kids get by doing the research is absolutely wonderful. I think sometimes that we don't put as much emphasis on history as we should.
"We have a wonderful (country) and we have just got to somehow keep that idea going. I really do feel strongly about that part of it."
The American History essay competition is for grades five through eight and the Christopher Columbus essay for grades nine through 12.
The winners for the American History essay competition were Tony Allen Barbour, grade 5; Lauren Anne French, grade 6; Benjamin Joseph Eisenhauer, grade 7; and Connor James Shaw, grade 8.
Each student received a certificate of appreciation and a desk flag from Woodmen of the World. Each grade level winner received a check from the DAR chapter.
Winners of the Christopher Columbus essay contest were Rachel Uzzell, grade 9; Oriana Dawn Aycock, grade 10; Anna Tess Allen, grade 11; and Heather Louise Aycock, grade 12.
Lauren Anne French, Benjamin Joseph Eisenhauer, Connor James Shaw and Heather Louise Aycock were also District IX winners and will receive a certificate and a check from the district.
Carol Goss was chairman of the Christopher Columbus Essay Committee.
Seven Wayne County students were named Good Citizens: James Randolph Crooks, Wayne Country Day; Kelsay Fleming, Charles B. Aycock; Christina Green, Wayne Christian; Robert Johnson, Wayne Early Middle; Michaela Smith, Rosewood High; Wesley Stewart, Eastern Wayne; and Daniel Wallace, Faith Christian.
The Good Citizen program and scholarship contest encourages and rewards the qualities of good citizenship. It's open to all seniors in public or private high schools in good standing.