District Blog

VFW and DAR Writing Contest

Posted on: February 7, 2020
VFW logo

Patriot's Pen


Each year more than 111,000 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest for a chance to win their share of more than $900,000 in state and national awards. Each first-place state winner receives a minimum of $500 at the national level, and the national first-place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. 

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.

At Taylor Middle School, the following  6th-grade students participated in the 2020 contest. 

Blake Larkins, Max Egner, Jack Hawkins, Rebecca Davis, Ella Eiding, Anna Miller, Alice Schmidt, Willow Montag, Hudson Mercer, Jacob Whitacre, Noah Wentz, Brooke Koelling, Max Schroeder, Tyler Lammers, Jackson Nieman, Jillian Bender, Rachel Hutson, Kaylyn Gibson, Dominic Powell, and Macy Meyer

The Winners were:

First Place: Maggie O'Leary

Second Place: Lily Krimmer

Third Place: Noah Tyree

Fourth Place: Josephine Enderle

Fifth Place: Justin Hughes

Sixth Place: Neil Rininger

Seventh Place: Brayden Gratz, Olivia Mobarry, Nicholas Ream, and Lucy Moeller



DAR logo

DAR Writing Contest


The American History Essay Contest was established to encourage young people to think creatively about our nation's great history and learn about history in a new light.

This contest is open to students in public, private, and parochial schools, and registered home-study programs. Students in grades five through eight are encouraged to participate. Each year, a selected topic for use during the academic year is announced, and contest instructions are published online and sent to schools by participating DAR chapters. Essays are judged for historical accuracy, adherence to the topic, organization of materials, interest, originality, spelling, grammar, punctuation, and neatness.

At Taylor Middle School, the following 5th-grade students participated in the 2020 contest. 

Evan Brockhoff, Brandon Gardner, Thea Godel, Ted Johnson, Jason McCollum, Vincent Soloria, Carter Giesting, Liam Haas, Noah Heine, Laura McCormack, Owen Metz, Abbigail Penn, Colton Tenhundfeld, Kalli Woodrum, Ryan Wehking, Gavin Fox, Treynt Hodge, Abigail Sallee, Clint Montag, Aubrey Eustice, Jackson Powell, Kian Russell, Madalyn Trimpe, Addison Turner, Nicole Wilkens, Audrey Benkert, Louis Lipez, Kylie Stutzman, Hannah Byard, Alexis Cross, Avery Mason, and Morgan Stewart

The Winners were:

First Place: Kiley Smith

Second Place: Cooper Faust

Third Place: David Barthelmeh