Patriot winners honored at Farwell BOE

December 7, 2018

By Pat Maurer
Correspondent

Students from Farwell Middle and High School were named the winners in the annual Farwell Veterans of Foreign Wars Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen essay contest at the Farwell Board of Education Meeting Monday evening.

Representatives from the VFW Post 3039, Denny Wissinger and Jack Allbee, presented Patriot’s Pen awards to: 1st place Maria Gomez-Scott, 2nd place Madison Forfinski, and 3rd place Jaiden Sharrow.

Denny Wissinger and Jack Allbee, representing VFW Post 3039, presented awards to the Patriot’s Pen winners in the Middle School. They are shown here with (from left) 3rd place winner Jaiden Sharrow, 2nd place winner Madison Forfinski and 1st place winner Maria Gomez-Scott.

Denny Wissinger and Jack Allbee, representing VFW Post 3039, presented awards to the Patriot’s Pen winners in the Middle School. They are shown here with (from left) 3rd place winner Jaiden Sharrow, 2nd place winner Madison Forfinski and 1st place winner Maria Gomez-Scott.

Voice of Democracy winners were: 1st place Tyler Warner; 2nd place Alexis Card; and 3rd place winner Wyatt Tubbs.

All winners received a framed certificate, ribbon, and monetary award for their efforts. Each first place winner was awarded $100; second place earned a $75 check and third place winner were awarded $50.

The first place winners; Warner and Gomez Scott, will be in the VFW District Competition in January in Mt. Pleasant, Wissinger said.

Winners in the Voice of Democracy essays for Farwell High School were (L-R) 3rd place winner Wyatt Tubbs, 2nd place winner Alexis Card and 1st place winner Tyler Warner. They were presented the awards by Denny Wissinger and Jack Allbee of VFW Post 3039.

Winners in the Voice of Democracy essays for Farwell High School were (L-R) 3rd place winner Wyatt Tubbs, 2nd place winner Alexis Card and 1st place winner Tyler Warner. They were presented the awards by Denny Wissinger and Jack Allbee of VFW Post 3039.

The Patriot’s Pen contest is led by teacher Penny Lew, who said this year’s essays were some of the best she has seen in 15 years. High School teacher Gary White was the teacher involved with the Voice of Democracy essay contest.

Established in 1947, the VFW’s Voice of Democracy audio-essay program provides high school students with the unique opportunity to express themselves in regards to a democratic and patriotic-themed recorded essay.

The Voice of Democracy essay contest is a scholarship program presented by the Veterans of Foreign Wars for high school students. Each year, almost 40,000 high school students compete for more than $2 million in scholarships and incentives.

During the regular meeting, Superintendent Steve Scoville presented outgoing board member Holly Thrush with a certificate of appreciation for her efforts over the last four years.

In other business at the regular December meeting, Superintendent Scoville reported that bid specifications for the proposed bond issue for the district were developed by Johnson Controls and the final application date will be January 7th.

He also reported that in the recent Michigan State Police School Bus Safety Inspections, Farwell was given a 100 percent pass rate, which is highly unusual.
Scoville also said a settlement in the Farwell Education Support Group, the FES wage reopener, a $150 one-time stipend was offered to both unions. The board approved the reopener bonus 6-0.

During administrative reports Middle School Principal Nancy Cairnduff reported that two students, Anna Van Buskirk and Asher Yarhouse, both choir students of Music Teacher Melissa Sapienza since 2014, successfully auditioned and were chosen from among over 1,500 youngsters to be a member of one of a National Children’s Choir that will perform at the OAKE (Organization of American Kodaly Educators) National Conference March 21-24 in Columbus, Ohio.

High School Principal Dr. Dee Yarger reported that, with the help of many donors, the Student Council provided a Thanksgiving dinner for 13 families last month. She also said Donors provided a complete and varied Thanksgiving dinner at Timberland Alternative school. Outgoing board member Holly Thrush recommended that board members attend the event next year. “Those kids really appreciated the dinner,” she said.

Three new hires were approved by the board at the meeting Monday. Darryl Johns was approved to fill the Maintenance Director Position; Marie Brechtelsbaurer was approved as a new bus driver, and Hannah May Robins was approved as the coach for the new program Middle School Competitive Cheer.

Scoville reported that both High School and Middle School Competitive Cheer were added to the sports curriculum.

Also at the meeting:

*FHS Students of the Month were recognized including 8th grader Maria Merlino, 9th grader Elizabeth Christians, 10th grader David Smith, 11th grader Jenna Wilkerson, 12th grader Isabel Murphy and Timberland student Emily Freudiger.

*A donation of $299.03 from the Farwell Boosters was approved for new basketballs.

*The board accepted the resignations of Special Education Paraprofessional Jody Bennet and Elementary Paraprofessional Gail Stalf.

*The annual Organizational Meeting was set for January 7th.

*Bills totaling $255,523.98 were approved.

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