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Region 15 Schools

What Are the Greatest Attributes of Our Democracy?"

We are proud to announce that Amya Leach, an 8th-grade student at MMS, will be heading to the National VFW Patriot's Pen competition following a 1st-place finish at the Connecticut state-level competition and a first place at the District 2 competition!

Pictured are Youth & Education Chairman Joe Razzaia, Amya Leach, and VFW District 2 Auxiliary President Kate Fitzgerald.

man student and woman standing

Grade 8 students from both Memorial Middle School (MMS) in Middlebury and Rochambeau Middle School (RMS) in Southbury participated in the Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest, sponsored locally by George Newton VFW Post 1607 in Southbury. 

This is the third year in a row that an MMS student has won at the District level and gone on to represent Post 1607 at the state competition.

At RMS, the essay written by Victoria Daltow advanced to the regional competition.

Veterans of Foreign War Post 1607 members, Larry Williams (left) and Ken Korsu (right) stand with 8th grade student Victoria Daltow, whose essay was selected to advance to the regional competition of the Patriot’s Pen essay contest. George Newton VFW Post 1607 in Southbury locally sponsors the Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest. 

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The Patriot’s Pen is a national youth essay contest that encourages students to write essays expressing their views on an annual patriotic theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief.  Each year more than 125,000 students in Grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen contest.  To participate in the contest, eighth-grade students wrote essays based on the 2023-24 theme, “What Are the Greatest Attributes of Our Democracy?"

The contest consists of four levels, with the entry level sponsored by local VFW Posts, followed by the regional, state and national levels. Essays are judged by members of the VFW on theme development, clarity of ideas, and knowledge of the theme. The VFW shared that the essay contest encourages young minds to examine America's history, along with their own experiences in modern American society.

Congratulations to the twelve Memorial Middle School students who were local winners in the VFW Post 1607 Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest. Their essays were then sent to the VFW District 2 Competition.

Pictured:  Mrs. Murphy (MMS Principal), Michaelina Gatesman, Katherine Salsbury, Amya Leach, Ken Korsu (VFW Post 1607 Commander), Larry Williams (VFW Post 1607), Tom Sherk (VFW Post 1607),  Casey Hennessey, Mikaela Alvarez, Nora Dzwonchyk, Mrs. Cassidy (Organizer), and Mrs. Bourque (MMS Assistant Principal). Front Row:  Katelyn Lin, Carolina Keenaghan, Adrian Branco, and Tristan Tiru. Not pictured:  Mathew Stevenson and Bryce Zalewski

Mrs. LeAnn Cassidy and Mr. Karl Buckley from Memorial Middle School and Mr. Sonny SanAngelo from Rochambeau Middle School coordinate the program at the middle schools. Teachers use this opportunity to integrate themes of patriotism, service, sacrifice, and freedom into student writing.