News Release, Charles County Public Schools

Several Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students recently earned national 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.

The 2018-19 theme was “The 50thAnniversary 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. State level first-place winners advance to a regional event. First-place regional winners advance to a national level of judging.

The following students earned a first-place award at the national level. They also received a first-place award at both the state and regional events.

  • Arya Bijukchhe, poem category, third grade, Mary H. Matula Elementary School;
  • Katie Boyette, poster category, third grade, Matula;
  • Taylor Carter, banner category, fourth grade, Matula;
  • Kayla Cross, poem category, second grade, Matula;
  • Ava Davis, banner category, fifth grade, Matula;
  • Rebecca Johnson, stamp category, third grade, Matula;
  • Joyce Kang, banner category, fifth grade, Matula;
  • Addison Kelly, banner and short story categories, fourth grade, Matula;
  • Evie Michael, banner category, fifth grade, Matula;
  • Nicholas Pankowski, banner category, fifth grade, Matula;
  • Dylan Shafer, banner category, fourth grade, Matula; and
  • Nya Whitney, photo essay category, fifth grade, Dr. James Craik Elementary School.

The following students were recognized with a second place, third place or honorable mention award at the national level. They also received a first-place award at the state and regional levels.

  • Jackson Donnick, second place, poem category, fourth grade, Craik;
  • Lauren Kelly, second place in the stamp category and honorable mention in the short story category, seventh grade, Milton M. Somers Middle School;
  • Mannat Kaur, third place, stamp category, fifth grade, Craik;
  • Addison Kelly, third place, stamp and poster categories, fourth grade, Matula;
  • Ryan Lathern, third place, short story category, third grade, Matula;
  • Brian Wilson, third place, poster category, sophomore, Thomas Stone High School;
  • Alani Paoule, honorable mention, poem category, third grade, Craik;
  • Bryan Rodriguez-Ortiz, honorable mention, stamp category, sophomore, Stone; and
  • Asani Warren, honorable mention, short story category, sophomore, Stone.

All award recipients, including those students who received a local-level award, will be honored at an awards ceremony set for May 19 at the Maryland Veterans Museum. A list of local-level award winners is posted at

For more information about contests available through the NSDAR, visit

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...