Local students excel in essay competitions

VFW hosts annual ceremony after inclement weather delay

Winners in the VFW youth essay program were treated to patriotic themed cake after the festivities at the Camas Community Center.

Local students were recently recognized for their writings about patriotism and the contributions of veterans on Sunday, Jan. 22 at the Camas Community Center.

Local winners in the Camas-Washougal Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4278 District 6 level essay program included the following:

State Junior Essay, “Why are men and women who serve in the military special?”: Third-graders Caitlin Higdon (third-place), Andreen Tsai (second-place) and Emmett Nelson (first-place) of Helen Baller Elementary; fourth-graders Shaye Parnell (third-place, Helen Baller Elementary) Bella Dickerson (second-place, Cape Horn-Skye) and Lauren Clary (first-place, Lacamas Heights Elementary),; and fifth-graders Anna Chaffee (second-place, Gause Elementary); and Sam Perry (third-place) and Addison Williams (first-place) of Lacamas Heights Elementary).

Nelson and Clary were also state level winners.

Patriot’s Pen, “The America I Believe In”: Sixth-graders Madison Reece Escamilla (third-place), Aaron Nikolas Poljakov (second-place) and Kael M. Krabbenhoft (first-place) of Jemtegaard Middle School); seventh-grader Simone Anne Velansky (third-place) and eighth-grader Darla Lynn Walker (third-place) of Canyon Creek Middle School.

Voice of Democracy, “My Responsibility to America”: Ryan J. Krout (second-place) and Mitchell M. Leon (first-place) of Washougal High School. Leon is also a state level winner.

Due to rescheduling the event because of inclement weather, the state winners were announced before the district winners.

“This year, we had to do it differently, but we still wanted to hold the ceremony and honor these young people,” said VFW Post 4278 Commander Bob Hitchcock. “We are very proud of all of our winners.”