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Saegertown students win American Legion essay contest

By Theama Schaef, staff writer

Sophomore Brittany Houck was the first place winner for Post 205 in the American Legion Essay Contest. From left: Dan Cole (Post 205 Commander), Brittany Houck, Rachel White, Lynsie Kimple, Ally Phelan, Abby Shields, and Dale Beers (Post 205 Secretary)

Students from Saegertown High School recently competed in the Pennsylvania American Legion Essay Contest through Legion Post 205 in Saegertown. This year’s topic is “Does the U.S. Military receive the respect they deserve?”

The Saegertown Legion is actively involved in the essay contest, which is in its 85th year. “While giving the award I feel great because this is our way of giving back and watching the students participate”, Post 205 Commander Dan Cole said. “This award gives good opportunities to the students for the future. We love to brag about the award when we go to our meetings.” 

Forty of English teacher Stacey Hetrick’s tenth-grade honors students entered the competition. The essays were read by a committee of teachers at Saegertown High School, and the final selection of winners was made by the board of Legion Post 205.

Brittany Houck, the daughter of Debora and Timothy Houck of Saegertown, was the first place winner. “Honestly I was very excited and shocked,” Houck said. Her essay will now move on to the district level judging and possibly beyond. “I had a hard time getting started, but after reading articles about the military, I was inspired.”

Runners up were Abby Shields, Rachael White, Ally Phelan, and Lynsie Kimple. “I was inspired by my grandfather who served in the Vietnam war,” Kimple said. “I talked to my grandfather and my grandmother to also get her perspective of the military being a military wife and went from there.” 

All the winners received monetary awards and certificates from Saegertown American Legion Post 205 Commander Dan Cole and Secretary Dale Beers, which were presented in a ceremony at the school on February 13. 

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Journalism Adviser, Saegertown Jr. Sr. High School

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