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Eagle Ridge students are top three winners in VFW essay contest

Three 8th grade students at Eagle Ridge Middle School earned awards in the Patriot's Pen essay contest sponsored by Burnsville VFW Post 5833 recently.

Students in the community in grades 6-8 were invited to submit essays related to the theme of “America’s Gift to My Generation.” Members of the Post evaluated the entries and selected three winners, said Bob Hansen, commander of Burnsville VFW Post 5833.

All three winners are students at Eagle Ridge Middle School:

  • 1st Place - Cynthia Kerubo received $100.
  • 2nd Place - Susan Nguyen received $75.
  • 3rd Place - Hayden Mathews received $50.

Now Cynthia’s essay moves on to district-level competition. Read it here.

The three students are in an honors literacy arts class taught by Mike Blair, who introduced the essay contest to students by talking about the theme and the intended audience. They reviewed the rules and parameters (300-400 words) of the essay and how best to introduce, support and summarize the "gift" within those parameters.  

“Each student had the opportunity to reflect on the theme and write to express their gratitude for that ‘Gift,’” said Blair. “They learned to write for an audience and to express their thoughts clearly and concisely.”

Every student in the class was required to write an essay and 17 of them chose to submit theirs for consideration in the contest.

“I was impressed with the students' depth of understanding of the impact the men and women of our past, present, (and future) have on our country,” Blair added. “Students really seemed to ‘get it’.”

Hansen agrees. “The students did a really good job on their essays,” he said. Twelve members of the Post assisted him with judging.

Entries are due by Nov. 1 every year for the Patriot’s Pen Essay contest for students in grades 6-8 and the “Voice of Democracy” speech contest for students in grades 9-12. For more information, contact Hansen at or (952) 388-3956.

Photo: From left, Howard Lundin, senior vice commander; Hayden Mathews, Susan Nguyen, Cynthia Kerubo, and Bob Hansen, commander of Burnsville VFW Post 5833.

Posted: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 - 09:04