Kraus-Hartig names three Patriot Pen winners

The seventh-graders in Kris McCarthy’s Westwood Middle School class were asked what would they tell America’s Founding Fathers.

Westwood Middle School teacher Kris McCarthy and four of her students were honored for their participation in the Kraus-Hartig VFW Patriot Pen competition. The students are Dezarae Ross (left), Tynecea Thomas, Theresa Drexler and Grace Russ. Photo by Tammy Sakry

Westwood Middle School teacher Kris McCarthy and four of her students were honored for their participation in the Kraus-Hartig VFW Patriot Pen competition. The students are Dezarae Ross (left), Tynecea Thomas, Theresa Drexler and Grace Russ. Photo by Tammy Sakry

While some of the seven students choosing to enter the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the Ladies Auxiliary Patriot’s Pen essay contest chose to “talk” to one Founding Father, others chose to write to several.

This world is very different from their’s, said Grace Russ, who earn third place in the local competition sponsored by Kraus-Hartig VFW in Spring Lake Park.

The Patriot Pen and the Voice of Democracy are two scholarship programs the VFW is mandated to do, said Don LaCroix, Kraus-Hartig commander.

Unfortunately, the post received no entries for Voice of Democracy, for which only high schools are eligible.

The high school students would have been eligible for $30,000 in scholarships.

McCarthy’s students were the only ones to enter the Patriot Pen, he said.

The Patriot Pen contest is open to students in sixth- though eighth-grades.

Theresa Drexler was awarded first place and will compete with other contestants from the state for $46,000 in awards.

As to why she took time to write her essay about what the actions of the Founding Fathers has meant to her and how their bravery has empowered her, Drexler said for the fun of it.

Myah Ashley Staple took second place in the local competition.

Tynecea Thomas, who received a participation award from Kraus-Hartig, said she entered the competition because it was something new.

“My best topic is history,” she said.

All three local winners will be honored at a Jan. 3 banquet at Kraus-Hartig as will their teacher, who was selected the Kraus-Hartig Teacher of the Year.

Tammy Sakry is at tammy.sakry@ecm-inc.com

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