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St. Mary's student places nationally in Veterans of Foreign Wars Essay Contest

The Oak Ridger - 3/14/2017

On March 3, Tennessee state Rep. John Ragan, ROak Ridge, along with several members of VFW Post 12051 came to St. Mary's School to make a special presentation to 7th grader, Genevieve Robinson.

Jim Irving, VFW District 2 Commander, shared opening remarks and presented Genevieve with a $1,000 check and a plaque for winning the Department of Tennessee's Patriot's Pen competition as part of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Essay Competition. As a result of winning at the state level, she was entered as one of 54 finalists in the national competition where she was recognized with the $500VFW Southern Conference Award. The finalists came from each of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, Pacific areas and Panama Canal.

Conducted nationwide, the Patriot's Pen is a VFW-sponsored youth essay competition that gives sixth, seventh, and eight grade students an opportunity to write essays expressing their views on an annual patriotic theme. Over 100,000 students submitted essays from around the country and around the world.

This year's Patriot's Pen essay asked students to describe "The America I Believe In." Students were asked to think hard about the America they believe in and, in 300 - 400 words, articulate what makes our nation unique and great.

In her essay, Genevieve wrote, "We have a country in which our differences are celebrated instead of discouraged. Our different talents can be utilized to build a better, stronger nation." "We are so proud of Genevieve for achieving such a distinguished recognition," a press release stated.

St. Mary's School is located in Oak Ridge, about 15 minutes outside of Knoxville. A National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, the school is known for its excellent math, technology & #038; science programs, as well as small class sizes, individualized instruction, athletic programs and after-school care. Chrome books are provided to every student in grade 1-8 for use in the classrooms. For more information about the school, staff, and student body, visit


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