VFW essay winners announced
On Monday, Jan. 2, Merrill VFW Post 1638 announced the winners of the 2016-17 Patriots Pen and Voice of Democracy winners.
According to contest chairperson Tracy Jopek, a total of 235 written essays were submitted and were judged on Saturday, Nov. 5, by Merrill Public Schools Superintendent Dr. John Sample, Trinity Principal Kathy Yahr, Merrill Courier Journalist and US Army veteran Jeremy Ratliff, and long-time Patriots Pen Chairman and US Marine Corps-Vietnam Veteran Russ Iwen.
Judging took almost five hours to complete and was taken very seriously.
“I am proud to say that we advanced 15 students from Merrill to 7th District Judging resulting in 3 District winners,” Jopek adds. “First place went to St. Johns Lutheran student, Madison Strand; Prairie River Middle School student Lydia McIntyre placed second; and Prairie River Middle School student Sawyer Schmitz placed third. The first place winner will advance to state competition.”
On Jan. 28, VFW Post 1638 & Auxiliary will hold their annual awards banquet at Les & Jim’s Lincoln Lanes, during which contest winners will be recognized.
This year’s winner are as follows in order of placement:
Patriots Pen- 1st place, Courtney Schneider, 7th grade, PRMS; 2nd place, Grace Koehler, 7th grade, PRMS; 3rd place, Madison Strand, 8th grade, St. John; 4th place, Alicia Humphrey, 8th grade, St. John; 5th place, Christian Weix, 6th grade, Home School; 6th place, Nicole E. Zoellner, 8th grade, PRMS; 7th grade, Faith Weix, 6th grade, Home School; 8th place, Gaven Reindl, 7th grade, St. Francis; 9th place, Isaiah Rell, 6th grade, St. Francis; 10th place, Sawyer Schmitz, 8th grade, PRMS; 11th place, Samuel Johns, 7th grade, PRMS; 12th place, Jordyn Leopold, 7th grade, Trinity; 13th place, Zoey Parrett, 7th grade, Trinity; 14th place, Aiden Krzanowski, 7th grade, PRMS; 15th place, Lydia McIntyre, 7th grade, PRMS.
Voice of Democracy- 1st place, Zach Weix, 12th grade, Home School; 2nd place, Rachel Weix, 10th grade, Home School; 3rd place, Elizabeth Weix, 12th grade, MHS; 4th place, Emily Weix, 10th grade, MHS; 5th place, Trista Rathke, 12th grade, MHS.