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News Release, Charles County Public Schools

La Plata, MD- Several Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students recently earned honors in the Junior American Citizens Contest, sponsored by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR). The organization includes a Junior American Citizens Committee, which supports contests for children that promote patriotic development. The Junior American Citizens Contest is open to students in prekindergarten through Grade 12. Entries range from banners, poems and posters to short stories and stamp designs.

This year’s contest theme was “The 50th Anniversary of the Lunar Landing – America’s Great Move Forward in Exploration and Technology.” Entries are judged first at the local level, with first-place winners advancing to the state level. The Port Tobacco Chapter of the NSDAR sponsored the local contest.

The following students received awards at the local level in the banner category.

  • Lamont Ford, Jr., first place, first grade, Dr. James Craik Elementary School;
  • Alice Virgin-Quade, first place, first grade, Craik;
  • Carley Atkinson, first place, first grade, Craik;
  • Addison Kelly, first place, fourth grade, Mary H. Matula Elementary School;
  • Dylan Shafer, first place, fourth grade, Matula;
  • Taylor Carter, first place, fourth grade, Matula;
  • Kristine Okemu, first place, fourth grade, Matula;
  • Isabelle Chaney, first place, fourth grade, Matula;
  • Hailey Ream, first place, fourth grade, Matula;
  • Isabelle Gray, second place, fourth grade, Craik;
  • Alexandra Hoiler, second place, fourth grade, Craik;
  • Aaden Smith, second place, fourth grade, Craik;
  • Evie Michael, first place, fifth grade, Matula;
  • Joyce Kang, first place, fifth grade, Matula;
  • Ava Davis, first place, fifth grade, Matula;
  • Nicholas Pankowski, first place, fifth grade, Matula;
  • Ryan Sullivan, first place, fifth grade, Matula;
  • Aidan Dude, first place, fifth grade, Matula;
  • Jackson Bradford, first place, fifth grade, Matula; and
  • Nathan Quick, first place, fifth grade, Matula.

Nya Whitney, a Craik fifth grader, earned the sole award in the photo essay content. She received first place for her entry.

The following students received local awards in the poem category.

  • Kayla Cross, first place, second grade, Matula;
  • Arya Bijukchhe, first place, third grade, Matula;
  • Alani Pauole, first place, third grade, Craik;
  • Jackson Donnick, first place, fourth grade, Craik; and
  • Trey Tompkins, second place, fourth grade, Craik.

The following students received local awards in the poster category.

  • Katie Boyette, first place, third grade, Matula;
  • Arya Bijukchhe, second place, third grade, Matula;
  • Willoe Harris, third place, third grade, Matula;
  • Makenzie Tregoning, first place, third grade, Craik;
  • Alani Pauole, second place, third grade, Craik;
  • Hannan Araya, third place, third grade, Matula;
  • Addison Kelly, first place, fourth grade, Matula;
  • Christopher Ellison, third place, fourth grade, Craik;
  • Logan Garcia, second place, fourth grade, Craik;
  • Mannat Kaur, first place, fifth grade, Craik;
  • Maddie McDermott, second place, fifth grade, Craik;
  • Lauren Kelly, first place, seventh grade, Milton M. Somers Middle School;
  • Brian Wilson, first place, sophomore, Thomas Stone High School;
  • Jaylah Grazier, second place, sophomore, Stone; and
  • La’Naiya Wilson, third place, sophomore, Stone.

The following students received awards at the local level in the short story category.

  • Ryan Lathern, first place, third grade, Matula;
  • Arya Bijukchhe, second place, third grade, Matula;
  • Willoe Harris, third place, third grade, Matula;
  • Addison Kelly, first place, fourth grade, Matula;
  • Dylan Shafer, second place, fourth grade, Matula;
  • Ethan Phantasy, third place, fourth grade, Craik;
  • Lauren Kelly, first place, seventh grade, Somers; and
  • Asani Warren, first place, sophomore, Stone.

The following students received awards in the stamp category of the local contest.

  • Rebecca Johnson, first place, third grade, Matula;
  • Makena Pauole, second place, third grade, Craik;
  • Arya Bijukchhe, third place, third grade, Matula;
  • David Bell, third place, third grade, Matula;
  • Addison Kelly, first place, fourth grade, Matula;
  • Taylor Carter, second place, fourth grade, Matula;
  • Jacob Leichtweis, third place, fourth grade, Craik;
  • Mannat Kaur, first place, fifth grade, Craik;
  • Kendall Cross, second place, fourth grade, Craik;
  • Liam Andres, third place, fifth grade, Craik;
  • Lauren Kelly, first place, seventh grade, Somers; and
  • Bryan Rodriguez-Ortiz, first place, sophomore, Stone.

All award recipients will be honored at an awards ceremony set to take this spring. For more information about contests available through the NSDAR, visit http://www.dar.org/.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...