2 Hamilton County Students Among 2017 Civics Essay Contest Winners Announced

Monday, December 18, 2017

Hamilton County students Isabelle Sorensen and Annabelle Kelly were among winners the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office announced of its 2017 civics essay contest, an annual initiative created to encourage students to be actively engaged citizens.

Students were asked to write about citizenship with length requirements varying by grade level. Winners will receive a TNStars 529 College Savings Program scholarship and a trip to the State Capitol this spring. First place winners receive a $500 scholarship, with second and third place winners receiving $250 and $100 respectively. 

“I’m thrilled more than 1,000 students from across the state wrote an essay for the contest. The students demonstrated a passion for actively participating in their communities at a young age,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “Our long-term goal is to increase civic engagement across the state.” 

2017 Civics Essay Contest Winners 

Ninth – 12th Grade: 
First: Simon Jolly, Hardin Valley Academy (Knox County)
Second: Karla Hines, Whitehaven High School (Shelby County)
Third: Kennedy Cole, Mt. Juliet High School (Wilson County)
Honorable Mention: Gaige Guyer, Powell High School (Knox County)

Sixth – Eighth Grade: 
First: Grace Darke, Christ the King School (Davidson County)
Second: Isabelle Sorensen, East Hamilton Middle High School (Hamilton County)
Third: Lauren Mansfield, Centertown Elementary School (Warren County)
Honorable Mention: Lauren Perry, Westwood Middle School (Coffee County)

Third – Fifth Grade: 
First: Annabelle Kelly, Our Lady of Perpetual Help School (Hamilton County)
Second: Asa Cullity, South Cumberland Elementary School (Cumberland County)
Third: Sam Daugherty, Homeschool, Classical Conversations (Montgomery County)
Honorable Mentions: Elsa Smith, Covenant Academy (Warren County); Maddie Boyd, Oak Elementary School (Shelby County)

Kindergarten – Second Grade: 
First: Maci Aylor, Blue Grass Elementary School (Knox County)
Second: Kirsten Williams, Ezell-Harding Christian School (Davidson County)
Third: Brady Watts, Sylvan Park Paideia Design Center (Davidson County)
Honorable Mention: Ava Aldridge, Allons Elementary School (Overton County)

The contest, along with last year’s successful Student Mock Election, is part of the office’s civic engagement program. 

The civic engagement program also offers lesson plans based on the Tennessee Blue Book created by Tennessee teachers. The goal is to offer an easy way for teachers to incorporate civic engagement into their curriculum. 

For more information on the essay contest, Student Mock Election or lesson plans, visit sos.tn.gov/civics.



Reading Success To Be Celebrated In The Opportunity Zone

The Hamilton County Schools Opportunity Zone elementary schools are partnering with Read 20 to inspire and celebrate the reading success of children.  The new partnership will be kicked off at Orchard Knob Elementary School on Wednesday, at 8:30 a.m. As part of the recognition program, children will receive an “I Jumped a Level” sticker for moving up a reading level ... (click for more)

GNTC Names Semi-Finalists For 2018 GOAL Award

Four Georgia Northwestern Technical College students have been selected as the college’s semi-finalists for the Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL), according to Dione Waddington, coordinator for the college’s GOAL program.   Listed are students chosen as semi-finalists for the GOAL award showing (from left to right) the student’s name, hometown, program of ... (click for more)

Woman Who Took Truck Driver's Blood At Tragic Wreck Scene: "It Was Like Nothing Had Happened"

The woman who took a blood draw from a Kentucky truck driver who had just wrecked and claimed six lives said, "I was thrown by his demeanor. It was like nothing had happened." Lisa Martin told a jury from Nashville on Monday afternoon that Benjamin Scott Brewer kept asking when he could go home. Brewer was eventually allowed to leave, but was later charged and is facing trial ... (click for more)

Haslam Announces "Agressive, Comprehensive Plan" To End Tennessee's Opioid Epidemic

Joined by leadership from the House and Senate and Chief Justice Jeff Bivins, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam on Monday announced an aggressive and comprehensive plan to end the opioid epidemic in Tennessee by focusing on three major components: prevention, treatment and law enforcement. TN Together is a multi-faceted initiative that addresses the issue of opioid addiction through ... (click for more)

General Bell: This Government Shutdown Is Outrageous - And Response (2)

The day before yesterday two Army Apache Attack Helicopter pilots were killed in a crash during training at Fort Irwin, Ca.  The pilots and their unit were preparing for a future deployment to combat operations.    As a result of the government shutdown, none of the spouses or families of these pilots will receive a dime from the United States Government in immediate ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Rebranding & ‘Culture’

My grandfather, who ran several very successful businesses, was a very astute fellow. I can’t tell you how many times he said, “The worst thing any salesman who calls on a business can say is, ‘I am here to save you some money.’ That’s not true -- In every instance they are in front of you hoping to make some money for themselves, else they would have never come by.” Another ... (click for more)