Roxbury Board of Ed - Celebrates Student VFW Essay Winners

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ROXBURY, NJ (February 21, 2020) – The Roxbury Board of Education recognized eight students from Lincoln/Roosevelt School, Eisenhower Middle School, and Roxbury High School at its regular Board of Education meeting on Monday, February 10th in the Lincoln/Roosevelt School Auditorium. These students were recognized as winners of this year’s VFW Patriot’s Pen and Voice of Democracy Essay Winners.

John Lehnert, the Post Commander of VFW Post 2833 in Kenvil, Nancy Bottona, and Don Banta were there to congratulate the students and present them with certificates. This year’s topic for the VFW Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest was “What Makes America Great”.

This nation-wide VFW youth essay-writing contest gives students in sixth through eighth grade the opportunity to express their views on democracy. Contestants write 300-400 word essays based on the annual patriotic theme.

This year’s winners from Eisenhower Middle School were eighth graders Annika Szardenings (1st Place), Jared Weiss (2nd Place), and Aditya Mahalingam (3rd Place).

The first, second, and third place winners from Lincoln/Roosevelt School were sixth graders Virginia Leal, Katrinka Sullivan, and Christos Paxos.

Lehnert thanked the students for their inspiring messages and thanked EMS and Lincoln/Roosevelt teachers, Margery Richman, Shannon Rodas, Stacy Buchanan, Amy Muller, Jamie Osbun for promoting these contests and for Roxbury Schools for participating in the VFW Voice for Democracies program.

He then went on to present this year’s Voice of Democracy winners. Participants in this contest must be in grades 9-12 and need to write and record an essay on an annual patriotic theme. This year’s winners were Sophomores Sarah Rice (1st Place) and Kate Rice (2nd Place). The topic they wrote and spoke on the same topic of was “What Makes America Great”.

Lehnert ended saying, “We would like to thank Maria Rispoli for promoting this to her students and we would also like to thank the principals, Mr. Miller, Mr. Gallagher, and Mr. Argenziano for coming out to support their students.”

PHOTO ATTACHED (courtesy of Roxbury Schools)

  • · John Lehnert and Don Banta from Kenvil VFW
  • · Annika Szardenings reads part of her essay
  • · Jared Weiss reads part of his essay
  • · Aditya Mahalingam reads part of this essay
  • · Virginia Leal reads part of her essay
  • · Katrinka Sullivan reads part of her essay
  • · Christos Paxos reads part of his essay
  • · Christos Paxos receives his certificate
  • · Sarah Rice reads part of her essay
  • · Kate Rice reads part of her essay
  • · LRS Patriots Pen Winners (L to R): Back Row: Don Banta and John Lehnert; Front Row: Virginia Leal, Katrinka Sullivan, and Christos Paxos
  • · EMS Patriots Pen Winners with VFW (L to R): Back Row: Don Banta and John Lehnert; Front Row: Jared Weiss, Aditya Mahalingam, and Annika Szardenings
  • · EMS Patriots Pen Winners with VFW and Staff (L to R): Back Row: EMS Principal Paul Gallagher, Don Banta, John Lehnert, and Margery Richman; Front Row: Jared Weiss, Aditya Mahalingam, and Annika Szardenings
  • · RHS Voice of Democracy Winners with VFW
  • · Kate Rice received certificate from John Lehnert
  • · EMS Students and Staff with Lehnert (L to R) Shannon Rodas (EMS Teacher), Angelina Stigliano, Leah Bauder, Luke Scaraggi, John Lehnert, Margery Richman (EMS Teacher), and Principal Paul Gallagher
  • · LRS Students and Staff with Lehnert (L to R) Amy Muller (LRS Teacher), James Ratigan, Julia Katz, Ayla Hart, and John Lehnert
  • · RHS Students with Lehnert (L to R) Sarah Rice, John Lehnert, and Kate Rice

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