VFW Post 7059 names award winners

Published 11:20 am Friday, December 9, 2022

Post 7059 recently held District competitions for their academic and youth programs.

“It was extremely tough competition, but we have winners,” said VFW Fourth District Educational Competitions chairman Fred Hill. The Farmville resident added that “in some cases, the decisions were based on a single point in the judging.”

Hill led the Fourth District adjudication team, which was responsible recently for reading and scoring area student Patriot Pen, Voice of Democracy and Teacher of the Year submissions that made it through various local Post level contests.

“We literally scored the ‘best of the best’ and that’s what makes it so tough at times,” Hill said.

The District winner of each category will be forwarded to State level competitions. Those making it through state go to the National Veterans of Foreign Wars. Winners, at the various levels, can earn anywhere from $50 locally to more $10,000 nationally for educational scholarships.

There was a change this year for the Teacher of the Year category. Posts are now allowed to identify three categories of winners, specifically, Elementary (Kindergarten through 5th grade), Middle School and High School. The competition was very tough, Hill added.

Here’s a look at this year’s winners:

• Voice of Democracy: First place, Jasmine E. Palmer, 10th grade, Drake’s Branch Post 8902; second place, Sydney McDowell, 11th grade, Farmville Post 7059 and third place, Sadie Henshaw, 11th grade, Crewe Post 7819.

• Patriot’s Pen: First place Elora Courtney Walker, eighth grade, Buckingham Post 8446; second place Bradley Z. Tinkle, sixth grade, Blackstone Post 7897 and third place, Nicholas Wright, eighth grade, South Hill Post 7166.

• Teacher of the Year: Elementary category, first place, Leanne Mull, Clarksville Post 8163; second place, Mark Roncinske, Lunenburg Post 9954 and third place, Haley N. Quinn, Lunenburg Post 9954; Middle School category, first place, Camela S. (Cam) Williams, Crewe Post 7819; second place Jaime Beatty, South Hill post 7166 and third place, Nathan Shortridge, Lunenburg Post 9954; High School category, first place, Chris Anderson, Drake’s Branch Post 8902; second place, Derek Burke, Lunenburg Post 9954 and third place, Casey Davis, Buckingham Post 8446. Fourth District Commander Gus Villalobos said the top district winners will be recognized at the district meeting at 11 a.m. on Feb. 11, 2023, at Amelia VFW Post 8759 (16440 Five Forks Road, Amelia). Recognitions will be first on the agenda.

Commander Villalobos expressed his appreciation to various VFW members and participating schools and educators who helped make this event happen to the benefit of all involved.