The Transylvania Times -

Essay Winners And Outstanding Teacher Awards Announced – Brevard NC


Last updated 1/11/2016 at 9:57am

Cherie Scott, Steve Powell, Emma Stewart and Kim Stewart,

VFW Post 4309 recently held an awards dinner for the winners of the High School Voice of Democracy Essay Scholarship Contest, the Middle School Patriot's Pen Essay Scholarship Contest, and Outstanding Teacher Awards. These are just a few of the community programs held annually by the VFW and it's auxiliary.

The Voice of Democracy Essay theme this year was "My Vision for America." This is a three to five minute oral essay recorded on a CD and judged based on originality, content, and delivery.

This year the first place winner was Eliza Witherspoon, a Brevard High School student. Second place went to Jessica Nelson, also of BHS. They each received a monetary award and their entries were forwarded on to the next level of competition.

Eliza read her essay at the dinner and received a boisterous applause for her work. She was accompanied by her brother, Knox, and dad, John With-erspoon. Jessica was accompanied by her brother, Zach, mom, Shelley and dad, Drew Nelson. The potential scholarships awarded on the national level range from the highest of $30,000 to the least of $1,000.

The Patriot's Pen Essay theme was "What Freedom Means to Me." This is a written essay of no less than 300 or more than 400 words. The essays are judged on the knowledge of the theme, theme development, and clarity of ideas.

First place went to Shade Wilbanks of Brevard Academy, second place to Tristan Ledford of Rosman Middle School, and Emma Stewart of Brevard Middle School. They each received a monetary award and their essays were forwarded on to compete on the next level. The potential scholarships awarded on national level ranges from the highest of $5,000 to the least of $500; however, there are 54 scholarships awarded for a total of $50,000.

Shade was accompanied by her mom, Carolyn, dad, Derek, sisters, Trinity, Gracen and Madalynn, and other family members Sonya Jenkins and Wanda Fisher. Tristan was accompanied by his grandad, Wade Morris, his mom, Tracy, dad, Steven, and sister, Chandler. Emma was accompanied by her mom, Kim.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars also recognizes the excellence in our educators of our children on all levels. This year, Linda Carrillo of Rosman Middle School was nominated by RMS principal Greg Carter. In his letter of recommendation he stated, "Linda has taken the initiative to establish a cultural awareness club in our school. This club is called the W.A.Y (the World Around You). This student-centered club focuses on bringing the world outside the Rosman community to our students. She does this by having guests that have traveled to other parts of the world to come to the meetings and share their experiences with our students. Through this, and other efforts, she continues to work to expand the total education for our students."

Greg Carter, Linda Carrillo, Cherie Scott, Steve Powell, Elizabeth Ballard and Tony Meachum.

Elizabeth Ballard of T.C. Henderson School was nominated by principal Tony Meachum. In his recommendation he wrote, "Elizabeth and another teacher have formed an organization called Girls Roar at T. C. Henderson. The group consists of 4th and 5th grade girls and they meet once a month. They are taught how to be a good citizen, how to contribute to the community through community service, how to appreciate differences in others, and how to be considerate of others."

There is one other scholarship coming due in March, the Young American Patriotic Art Scholarship wherein high school students get to express their patriotism through art. Applications have been provided to the art teachers at both BHS and RHS. Anyone wishing to receive an application may contact Janice Holm at (828) 883-2230 or


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