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Tuesday July 23rd, 2024
Sandy Creek Central School District

Sandy Creek Central School District

Sandy Creek High School Honors Veterans with Voices of Democracy Essay Contest

Voices of Democracy essay contestants from left to right: Hannah White (third place), Skylar Clark (first place) and Leia Wall (second place).
Voices of Democracy essay contestants from left to right: Hannah White (third place), Skylar Clark (first place) and Leia Wall (second place).
November 29th, 2023 by Jessica Sorell

During a Veterans Day assembly, three Sandy Creek High School students read their Voices of Democracy (VOD) essays in front of the student body, staff and members of the local Cable Trail VFW Post 8535.

VOD is a program created by the national Veterans of Foreign War organization, providing high school students with the unique opportunity to express themselves in regard to democratic and patriotic-themed essays.

Students compete by writing and recording an audio essay. The 2023-2024 theme is, What are the greatest attributes of our Democracy?

According to the VFW website, Each year, nearly 25,000 ninth through 12th grade students from across the country enter to win their share of more than one million dollars in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the program.

VFW Post Commander Frank Manchester announced the winners after the essays were read. Senior Skylar Clark took first place, followed by Leia Wall in second and Hannah White in third. All three participants received cash and other prizes, with Clark moving onto the next round of competition.

Guests of honor included VFW member Stephen Gove, Auxiliary members Peggy Manchester, Nola Gove, James and Sandra Comstock, Stuart and Denise Yerdon, and special community guests Navy Veteran Bob Brown and his wife Robin. Board of Education member Heidi Metott represented her son Joe who is currently serving in the Air Force.

Veterans and SCCS employees Fred Baird, Matt White, Todd Sullivan, Nick Vann and Robert Ferguson were also highlighted during the assembly, which was concluded by a moving Veterans Day video.

Ferguson has advised the annual VOD competition since 2006, stating I am proud to have a connection with both the students and a great organization such as the VFW at this level.