MANCHESTER – Every year, members of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10061 present awards to students and teachers in the Manchester Township School District. This year was no exception, as they made their presentations at the most recent Board of Education meeting.
The Patriot’s Pen essay contest uses history as inspiration. Children were asked to write a 300- to 400-word essay with the theme “America’s Gift To My Generation.”
The winners were Emma Stone, 8th grade, John Krawchuk, 7th grade, and Genesis Salquero, 6th grade. John and Genesis also moved up to be district representatives for Ocean County.
A separate contest was the Voice of Democracy. This is open to high school students, who are encouraged to record a patriotic essay. This year, the theme was “American History: Our Hope for the Future.” The winner was Andrew Dodd, who also moved up to represent the county.
Three teachers were also chosen for their excellence. In awarding the VFW Teacher of the Year, the veterans are looking for “exceptional teachers who promote civic responsibility, flag etiquette and patriotism to their students.”
Christine Newbury of Manchester Township High School, Nancy Condardo of Manchester Township Middle School, and Talyah Hingston of Whiting Elementary School were chosen as the VFW Teachers of the Year. Similar to the students, Newbury and Hingston were also named as district winners.
“I want to thank Manchester Township Schools for their participation in our programs for the last few years, which has really helped to make our Post a success,” said VFW Post Commander Joe Whelan. “Manchester has a lot to be proud of. You have a lot of good students and a lot of good teachers.”
According to a release from the district, Whelan was also accompanied by Dan Rastall, Senior Vice President; Robert Dupree, Chaplain; and Trustees Ray Gibson, Frank Stack, and Martin Fuller.