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Local Students Win VFW Speech Honors

January 17, 2016

Local Students Win VFW Speech Honors

The Veterans of Foreign Wars District 11 awards event was held on January 17th in Broken Bow.  Students from Taylor Public Schools and Burwell Public Schools were honored. These students were sponsored by the Taylor VFW Post and Auxiliary.  Awards were presented by chair Sherri Brown and District Commander Russ Horst.  All students shared their speeches at this event.

Keegan Strohl of Loup County Public Schools was the 2nd place winner out of 411 entries in the  Patriot’s Pen essay contest.  His teacher is Marie Gumb.  Students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest. The essay contest encourages young minds to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society, by drafting a 300- to 400-word essay, expressing their views based on a patriotic theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief.

The Voice of Democracy Program is open to students in grades 9-12.  Students draft and deliver a 3-5 minute speech about a selected topic.  The topic for 2016 was “My Vision for America.”  The district contest was composed of 101 entries with 63 of those entries coming from Burwell High School students.  Burwell students work on their essays and speeches in Miss Candace Cain’s English and speech classes.  Tressa Reiner was given an honorable mention in the contest.  Placing 2nd and winning a cash award was Molly Mares a 10th grader.  Jack Taylor, a senior at Burwell High School, was the District 11 champion and was also awarded a cash prize.  This is the 3rd time Jack Taylor has won honors at the district level and this is the 2nd time he has been the district champion.  His entry now has advanced to the state level program with the results announced in February. 

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