Waldport VFW Post honors winners

Waldport Post 3156 recognized winners of its annual essay contest and Teacher of the Year at a recent awards luncheon. Pictured are: Marlana Laub, front-left, Hailey Moreschini, Justin Gainer, Kyle Dalby, David Summerlin and Kathryn Pankey; William “Mick” Bittick, back-left, Teacher of the Year; Andrea Summerlin, youth committee chair; and Bill Grimm, Post 3156 commander. (Courtesy photo)

Waldport Post 3156 recognized winners of its annual essay contest and Teacher of the Year at a recent awards luncheon.

Students were awarded a framed certificate of appreciation, a lapel pin, a medal, notepad/pen and a gift card. Recipients and their families were also treated to a pizza luncheon. Winners were from Waldport High and Waldport Middle School were:

  • Patriot’s Pen seventh grade winners: Hailey Moreschini, first place; Justin Gainer, second place; and Marlana Laub, third place.
  • Patriot’s Pen eighth grade winners: David Summerlin, first place; Kyle Dalby, second place; and Kathryn Pankey, third place.

The post also recognized the Teacher of the Year, William “Mick” Bittick. He was honored for his leadership abilities and the way he weaves American history, traditions, civic responsibility, flag etiquette and patriotism into his classroom lessons. Bittick was selected as the first-place winner at the district level for his dedication to modeling citizenship to students.

Waldport Post 3156 Commander Bill Grimm, Senior Vice Commander Ron Urban, Chaplain Jim Ross and Youth Programs Committee Chair Andrea Summerlin presented awards in front of family, friends and Amy Skirvin, Waldport Middle and High School principal. Also in attendance was Cassie Nickerson, 2016 VFW Oregon Teacher of the Year.

The Patriot’s Pen essay contest is open to students in grades six through eight, and this year’s theme was “Why I Honor the American Flag.” Essays were judged on theme knowledge, development and clarity. David Summerlin, who placed first at the district level, wrote about what the flag means, the history behind it and why it is so important to honor it.

The post commander and chair wish to thank those who participated and supported this contest. These programs give students the opportunity to express their patriotism and gratitude for veterans. It also helps them to develop critical thinking and writing skills, with the national winner receiving $5,000 in award money and an all expense paid trip to Washington, D.C.

The post is securing nominations for the Scout of the Year award, which recognizes scouts who have demonstrated exemplary citizenship in school, scouting and community prior to the deadline of March 1, 2019. Those interested in obtaining more information about any of the awards can contact Committee Chair Andrea Summerlin at [email protected] or 541-252-0515. The 2019-20 essay contest themes will be announced next spring.

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