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High School Receives Governor's Award March 25, 2019

Conestoga Valley High School (CVHS) was selected by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to receive the 2019 Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence.

CVHS was selected for its CV Recycles campaign. The school's recycling awareness and action campaign kicked off with the creation of a 6-foot-tall sign spelling "CV Recycles," with the letters C and V made from metal mesh and filled with recyclable materials. The campaign continued on to collect enough recyclables to make the energy needed to power a convenience store for a year and offset the same amount of greenhouse gases as 10 acres of forest land.

One individual and 17 organizations, businesses, and local governments in Pennsylvania were selected by the DEP to receive the award. The award recipients were chosen among 28 applicants. Any individual, business, school, government agency, or community organization in Pennsylvania was eligible to apply. DEP evaluated projects for their degree of environmental protection, innovation, partnership efforts, economic impact, consideration of climate change, and sustainability and results achieved.

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BSCPA Gives Award March 25, 2019

Bicycle South Central Pennsylvania (BSCPA) recently awarded its Bicycle Champion Award to Commuter Services of Pennsylvania. The award honors outstanding leaders, advocates and organizations that made significant contributions to improving and encouraging bicycle transportation in southcentral Pennsylvania.

Commuter Services of Pennsylvania earned the award for the work it has done to promote cycling throughout the region. It offers incentives during bike month; the Free Ride Home program, which helps cyclists who have emergencies and cannot ride back home; and tips on safety and bike commuting. It also provides resources for employers who want to encourage active transportation modes for their employees. In addition, Laura Heilman, vanpool, bicycle and pedestrian outreach manager for Commuter Services of Pennsylvania, is spearheading the BSCPA Bicycle Safety Initiative, which encourages the sharing of successful programs throughout the PennDOT District 8 area.

The award was presented on March 16 at the Bicycle South Central Pennsylvania Bike Summit held at Dickinson College in Carlisle.

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VFW Auxiliary Recognizes Contest Winners March 25, 2019

The Columbia VFW Auxiliary 2435 recently announced the student winners of its coloring contest.

At Our Lady of Angels School, the first-place winners were Milania Huggins, second grade; Victoria Brook, third grade; Joseph Snyder, fourth grade; and Jarret Schmitt, fifth grade.

At Park Elementary School, the first-place winners were Liliana Stuber, second grade; James Weber, third grade; and Abby Mowrer, fourth grade.

The first-place winner from Columbia Middle School - Taylor Campus was fifth-grader Alena Reilly.

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Students Participate In Regional Orchestra March 22, 2019

Elizabethtown Area High School orchestra students Sean Brown, violin, and Mayelin Ebersole, viola, recently took part in the 2019 Pennsylvania Music Educators Association Central Region Orchestra Festival held at the Performing Arts Center in Williamsport. Dr. Gerardo Edelstein, director of orchestras at Penn State University, conducted the ensemble of about 100 talented high school musicians.

A team of judges, composed of local music teachers, selected the students to the Central Region Orchestra based on their performance at the District 7 festival held in January.

Participants at the regional level represented the top orchestra students from not only District 7, which covers Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, and York counties, but also District 8, which consists of Bradford, Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, and Union counties.

This is the second time that Ebersole has played in the regional orchestra and the third time that Brown has earned the honor.

The high school's orchestra director is Rich Winey.

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Stoltzfus Wins Scholarship Award March 22, 2019

Solanco High School student Olivia Stoltzfus has received the 2019 C.X. Carlson Senior Art Portfolio Scholarship Award of $11,500. The scholarship was awarded by the C.X. Carlson Cultural Trust in Lancaster and the Red Raven Art Company.

Olivia was scheduled to be honored during an awards ceremony at the Red Raven Art Company on March 24. Olivia's award-winning work will be featured on the business's Emerging Artist Wall in July.

Olivia has won numerous accolades in the Scholastic Art Awards and the Lancaster County Young Artists Awards. She was featured as the November 2017 Emerging Artist at the Hamilton Club of Lancaster, and her work was published on the cover of the Southern Lancaster Historical Society calendar in 2018. Olivia's work has also been featured in exhibitions at the Lancaster Museum of Art, the Demuth Museum, Millersville University, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. Also an accomplished writer, Olivia has seen her written work published in the 2018 winter edition of Philadelphia Stories Jr.

Olivia is currently working on the production of a portfolio to be considered for scholarships from visual arts schools. Olivia is considering The Cooper Union in New York City, Rhode Island School of Design, Pratt Institute in New York City, Maryland Institute College of Art, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia.

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Peiffer Wins Service Award March 22, 2019

Scott Peiffer, of the Quarryville Borough Maintenance Department, is the recipient of the second annual Community Service Award from the Southern Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce. The award recognizes a person who has provided important, lasting, volunteer public service in Quarryville and southern Lancaster County.

Kendall Keeler, chairman of the Chamber's Community Service Award committee, presented Peiffer with a plaque during the Chamber's annual banquet at Drumore Estates in Pequea. In addition, Keeler announced that a $500 scholarship in Peiffer's name will be awarded to a student in Solanco School District or Lampeter-Strasburg School District who plans to major in a business-related field at a college or technical school or who plans to operate their own business following their graduation from high school.

While presenting Peiffer with the award, Keeler noted Peiffer's support for the community and involvement in many activities, including the Hometown Heroes banners in Quarryville; the handicapped-accessible facilities at Huffnagle Park; the Solanco Fair Association; the Quarryville Teen Club, including the Miss Solanco Pageant; and the Quarryville Lions Club.

Nominees for the 2020 Community Service Award are now being accepted. To nominate someone, readers may visit www.southernlancasterchamber.org or email Keith Kaufman at keith_kaufman@solancosd.org.

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Oniskey Receives Award March 22, 2019

The Ephrata Cloister Toastmasters Club recently presented Jude Oniskey with the club's John J. Nonamaker Award. Oniskey's fellow club members voted him their top Toastmaster of 2018, recognizing his leadership as the club's vice president of membership. Club president Dana Ferber presented the award at the first club meeting of the new year.

The Ephrata Cloisters Toastmasters Club meets on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 6:15 p.m. at the WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital. Interested individuals are encouraged to join the club for a complimentary introductory meeting. For more information, readers may call 717-475-7722.

The club is part of Toastmasters International, which has more than 352,000 members.

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DAR Chapter Recognizes Freyberger March 22, 2019

In celebration of Women's History Month, the Harrisburg Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) honored the late Dr. Ruth Matilda Freyberger, who resided in the local area.

Freyberger was born in Lancaster on Nov. 15, 1912. According to the Harrisburg Chapter of the DAR, Freyberger was the first woman to receive a doctorate in art education from Penn State. She taught in New Holland, Huntingdon, and Hershey and eventually was a professor at Illinois State University for 31 years until her retirement in 1983. Freyberger continued to focus on art education with her legacies, specifically children's art education, with endowments to include the Freyberger Gallery of Art at Penn State University - Berks County Campus and the Freyberger Children's Art Collection at Boise State University in Idaho.

On March 14, the Harrisburg Chapter of the DAR presented the award for Freyberger for Women in American History, with the assistance of Margaret Wasson, DAR Harrisburg Chapter member, and Marilyn Fox, representative from the Freyberger Gallery at Penn State University - Berks County Campus. Fox provided an overview of Freyberger's life and what her legacy endowment has been able to provide to the art gallery and community, as well as how it has provided various educational opportunities.

The DAR was founded in 1890 with the mission of promoting historic preservation, education, and patriotism. The Harrisburg Chapter was founded in 1894 and aims to locally continue to preserve the legacies of the Founding Fathers and the patriots who fought for the independence of the United States of America. In May, the chapter will celebrate its 125th year and the launch of a chapter history including biographies of more than 60 Revolutionary War patriots.

For additional information, readers may contact Jennifer Stratton at jennifer.m.stratton@outlook.com or visit www.harrisburgdar.org.

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Earning The Eagle Scout Honor - A Family Tradition March 20, 2019

Eighteen-year-old Colin Delestienne of Atglen recently achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, just as his father and three older brothers have done.

Among those attending the Court of Honor ceremony at Penningtonville Presbyterian Church were Colin's parents, Doug and Sharon Delestienne, as well as brothers Nathan, 29, Eagle Scout 2008; Cameron, 27, Eagle Scout 2010; and Tyler, 25, Eagle Scout 2012.

"You can't be any prouder," said Doug. "I earned my Eagle Scout back in 1978. It was fortunate for myself (that) my wife and I had four sons and I got to relive my childhood."

Doug is originally from Bethel Park in western Pennsylvania, where he earned his Eagle rank, but his sons were all members of Troop 20 of Atglen. "I encouraged them, but it had to be their choice," he said.

Colin joined the Boy Scouts of America when he was about 5 years old, and he has worked through the levels to Eagle, the highest rank among Boy Scouts. This is an achievement that only a small percentage of all Boy Scouts ever reach.

At the ceremony, Colin presented his Mentor Pin to Mitch King. "He was my Scoutmaster at one point. He retired from being a Scoutmaster, but he was with me through Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts," Colin said.

Part of the process of achieving the rank of Eagle Scout is doing a large project that will be of service to the community. It is the Scout's responsibility to do all the preparation work on the project, organize and lead helpers and complete the work. He must document all the steps he takes in the process and make a presentation about his project.

"The Eagle Scout project has to be run by them with very little adult influence," Doug said.

Colin's project was the construction of a new fence at Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church in Parkesburg, where the Delestiennes are members of the congregation. Working on the actual installation of the fence with Colin were members of Troop 20. They installed approximately 200 feet of white vinyl fence for the church preschool.

"I had to plan it, then I had to organize it and get the materials. Leading it was the hardest part," Colin said. "I've learned to become a better leader and just a good overall adult."

Colin graduated from Octorara Area High School in 2018, where he was on the soccer team and ran track. He is currently attending Penn College of Technology, where he is studying architecture. He enjoys being outside, camping and hiking. He hopes to stay involved in Scouting as an adult leader.

Atglen Troop 20, chartered by Penningtonville Presbyterian Church, meets on Mondays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. For meeting locations and more information, readers may visit www.atglenscouts.org.

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Students Honored As Good Citizens March 20, 2019

Seniors from area high schools were recognized as Good Citizens by members of the Chester County Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) during a ceremony held on March 11 at Westminster Presbyterian Church in West Chester.

Recipients included Robert Duncheskie, Bishop Shanahan High School; Lauren DiCamillo, Coatesville Area Senior High School; Grace Yatcilla, Downingtown High School East; Mary Clay, Downingtown High School West; Michaela Hampton, Octorara Junior-Senior High School; Miriam Saadeh, B. Reed Henderson High School; Jane Shevlin, Bayard Rustin High School; Jayna Bruno, Kennett Consolidated High School; Regan Dolinger, Oxford Area High School; Ashlyn Lauder, Unionville High School; and Sarah Guan, West Chester East High School.

Beverly Lawler, chairperson of the Good Citizen Committee, explained that the honor is presented annually to students who demonstrate the qualities of dependability, service, leadership and patriotism. The students are chosen for the honor by their respective high schools.

"They have been selected by their schools because of their contributions to both their schools and their communities," Lawler said. "DAR chooses to recognize these students because they will become leaders of the future. These students are very bright and multitalented. I was amazed at how much they are already contributing to our society."

Lawler provided a brief history of the Good Citizen Award, which was established in 1934 and originally bestowed upon only one student per state. By 1952, the award was expanded so that each high school could select one Good Citizen honoree.

Each Good Citizen was presented with a certificate and a lapel pin. "The rim contains 13 stars, representing the 13 original Colonies," Lawler explained. "The band of blue identifies our society, and there are four books on the lapel pin, titled dependability, service, leadership and patriotism. These are characteristics of a Good Citizen."

Toni Keg from Sen. Andy Dinniman's office and John McNichol from Sen. Tom Killion's office also presented the students with certificates.

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High School Seniors Win Vocal Competition March 20, 2019

Three local high school seniors were named the winners of the Chester County Choral Society's 27th Excellence in Vocal Performance Competition, held on March 16 at the Exton Baptist Church. The contest was open to high school seniors who reside, attend high school or study music in Chester County.

The first-place winner of the competition was Sofia Bobrysheva, a mezzo-soprano who is a senior at Downingtown East High School. The runners-up included baritone Francis "Frankie" Jacquette, a senior at Bayard Rustin High School in West Chester, and Elana Babbitt, a soprano who attends Great Valley High School.

Sofia, who is a vocal student of Kim Kronenberg Russell of West Chester, has also studied voice, piano and music theory at the Royal Canadian Conservatory of Music. Sofia is a Tri-M Music Honor Society member and sings in her school's Masterworks Choir. She has placed third in the alto II category at the 2019 Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) Regional Choral Festival. She plans to attend West Chester University in the fall to pursue a dual degree in voice performance and music education.

Frankie, who has participated in the 2018 PMEA District and Regional Choral Festivals, also plays flute, piccolo, tuba, French horn and trombone for the school's marching and concert bands. He performed in high school musicals, playing the role of a mission band singer in "Guys and Dolls" and Mr. Banks in "Mary Poppins." Frankie will attend the University of Delaware in the fall to study music and mathematics and will be a member of the Marching Blue Hens.

Elana studies voice in Russell's studio as well. Her past roles at local theaters and at school have included Reno Sweeney in "Anything Goes," Maria in "The Sound of Music," Mayzie LaBird in "Seussical," Dorothy Brown in "Thoroughly Modern Millie" and Hedy LaRue in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." Elana plans to attend college to study musical theater.

Sue Sutter, event chair, explained that students are required to apply for the competition in advance and provide a reference from a vocal coach or high school choral teacher. On the day of the competition, students are welcome to use an accompanist provided by the choral society or bring one of their own.

"They sing one compulsory piece, so everyone sings the same piece in their vocal key," explained Sutter. "They bring one classical number of their choice and one musical theater piece of their choice, and they sing to a panel of three judges."

This year, the competition was adjudicated by Courtney Capriotti, Teresa Moyer and Tom Sitzler. "At the end of the auditions, our judges do the tallies and then I notify the first-place winner and two runners-up," said Sutter, noting choral members also attend the competition to escort students to the rehearsal rooms and turn music pages, among other duties.

Sophia will receive $1,000, a certificate of achievement and an award plaque. The runners-up will receive $500 each and a certificate of merit. The awards will be presented at Chester County Choral Society's spring concert, led by Gary P. Garletts. The concert, themed "Favorite Opera Choruses," will be held on Sunday, April 28, at 3:30 p.m. at Church of the Good Samaritan, 212 W. Lancaster Ave., Paoli.

The late Honorable Charles B. Smith, who passed away in September 2018, sponsored the vocal competition and provided the scholarship money. "This year, we are dedicating the spring concert to Charlie Smith, our benefactor who has sponsored the scholarship since 2010," Sutter said, noting that Smith was a baritone who sang at the Church of the Good Samaritan. "He felt that encouraging young singers was a good thing to do."

All three finalists will perform at the concert. "The runners-up will sing one (number) of their choice, and the winner will sing both of her audition pieces," Sutter noted.

For more information about the choral society, the vocal competition or the upcoming concert, readers may visit www.chescochoral.org.

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Students Win Writing Awards March 19, 2019

Martin Meylin Middle School eighth-graders Lana Dyer and Bethany Barrall each received a Gold Key in this year's Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Lana was honored in the Poetry category for her poems "Water's Dance" and "Magenta." Bethany's award was in the Novel Writing category for an excerpt from her novel "The Truthbringer." Bethany received both a Gold Key and a National Gold Medal in last year's Scholastic Art & Writing competition for an excerpt from her novel "Sunrise."

As 2019 Gold Key recipients, Lana and Bethany are in the running for Scholastic National Medals. Medalists will be announced in March.

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Perrine Wins Award March 19, 2019

Dr. Sean P. Perrine has won the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP) 2019 Young Osteopathic Physician of the Year Award. He was scheduled receive the award in March in Chicago.

Perrine is a family physician specializing in addiction medicine and OMT at Lancaster Health Center and Patient First Urgent Care. He received his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine in 2013 and completed his residency in 2016 from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Philadelphia.

In addition to his certifications in osteopathic medicine, he is licensed with the US DEA, specializes in opioid dependency treatment, and is a member of the American Heart Association. Perrine has been an active member of ACOFP since 2010, serving on several committees and as a Congress Delegate.

The ACOFP Young Osteopathic Physician of the Year Award honors physicians who have made significant contributions to family medicine between two and 10 years after entering the specialty.

Perrine is the son of Steve and Barbara Perrine of Stewartstown.

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Evgeniadis Receives Award March 19, 2019

The Penn State Master Watershed Stewards in York County honored Ted Evgeniadis, the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper, with the 2018 Outstanding Partner Award at a recent Extension event. By working together with other conservation agencies and organizations, the Master Watershed Stewards aim to stretch conservation funds and leverage resources to increase watershed restoration and awareness efforts in York County.

In 2018, the Master Watershed Stewards partnered with the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper on several projects, including the Mayfly Festival, the Street 2 Creek Storm Drain Art Project, the Youth and Family Fishing and Conservation Day, stream monitoring, stream cleanups, and habitat restoration projects. In 2019 and beyond, the Master Watershed Stewards will continue to partner with the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper to continue to protect and restore water resources in York County.

For more information about the Master Watershed Steward program, readers may visit http://extension.psu.edu/york or contact Jodi Sulpizio, natural resources educator, at 717-840-7429 or jrb143@psu.edu. More information about the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association is available at www.lowersusquehannariverkeeper.org/.

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Volunteer Of The Year Announced March 18, 2019

The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania recently announced William Cole as Volunteer of the Year for 2019. Cole was selected for the honor by the Friends of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania's board of directors from among the museum's corps of more than 150 active volunteers. An eight-year member of the Friends of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, he originally picked up a volunteer application while he was visiting the museum. With railroading as his hobby, Cole recalled that it seemed a perfect fit.

Cole reveals that he has been a model railroader since age 5 when he received a Lionel train for Christmas, and he has had layouts in both O gauge and HO gauge. He currently has a four-by-eight-foot O-scale layout that he maintains in his home. He describes it as electronics-heavy and automated for the 21st century. Cole also previously enjoyed building computers in the devices' early days.

Cole generally volunteers in the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania archives one day a week, scanning and cataloging photo collections and preparing documents and photos for sale. He also works one day a week on the Pennsylvania Landscapes operating HO model train layout in Stewart Junction railway education center, rewiring and maintaining the layout and installing DCC decoders in locomotives.

Cole will be formally recognized as the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania's Volunteer of the Year by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission at a ceremony in Harrisburg on Saturday, April 27. He will also be honored during the museum's annual Members Day banquet at The Willows at Historic Strasburg on Saturday, Sept. 28.

Individuals who would like to learn about the museum's volunteer opportunities are invited to contact volunteer/program coordinator Elizabeth Myers at 717-687-8628. For more details, readers may visit www.rrmuseumpa.org.

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Nominations Sought For Conservation Award March 18, 2019

The 2019 Pennsylvania Leopold Conservation Award seeks nominations of farmers or foresters who go above and beyond in the care and management of natural resources. Sand County Foundation presents the Leopold Conservation Award to private landowners in 13 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. In Pennsylvania, the $10,000 award is presented with Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and Heinz Endowments.

Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the award recognizes landowners who inspire others with their dedication to land, water, and wildlife habitat management on private, working land. In his 1949 book, "A Sand County Almanac," Leopold called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage.

Nominations may be submitted on behalf of a landowner, or landowners may nominate themselves. The application can be found at https://sandcountyfoundation.org/uploads/PA-2019-CFN.pdf. Nominations must be postmarked by Thursday, Aug. 1. The Leopold Conservation will be presented at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in January 2020.

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Students Win Writing Awards March 15, 2019

Three Centerville Middle School eighth-graders were recently honored for their entries in the National Scholastic Writing Awards Contest. After winning Gold Keys in the regional competition, the students' writings were sent on to the national competition for judging.

In the national competition, the following students received honors: Mariana Agadis, Gold Key Award, flash fiction; Leilani Rivera, Silver Key Award, short story; and Joseph Striggle, Gold Key Award, humor.

The students have been invited to attend the awards ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

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Octorara Senior Honored As A Good Citizen March 13, 2019

Michaela Hampton, a senior at Octorara Junior-Senior High School, was one of 11 students recognized as a Good Citizen by members of the Chester County Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) during a ceremony held on March 11 at Westminster Presbyterian Church in West Chester.

Beverly Lawler, chairperson of the Good Citizen Committee, explained that the honor is presented annually to students who demonstrate the qualities of dependability, service, leadership and patriotism. The students are chosen for the honor by their respective high schools.

"They have been selected by their schools because of their contributions to both their schools and their communities," Lawler said. "DAR chooses to recognize these students because they will become leaders of the future. These students are very bright and multitalented. I was amazed at how much they are already contributing to our society."

During the event, Michaela and the other Good Citizens were given an opportunity to talk about their community service. Michaela mentioned that she serves weekly as a volunteer at Stillwaters Presbyterian Church in West Grove.

"Volunteering in the nursery, junior church program and with the GEMS Girls' Club and running slides (during) the service has taught me the importance of investing in other people," she said. "Spending my time surrounded by godly people who show love through their actions encourages me to always try my best to do the same."

Michaela said that her efforts have gone beyond church. She is a member of the Octorara Heroes, a mentoring program where 12th-graders encourage elementary school students to live a drug-free lifestyle. As part of the program, the "Heroes" visit elementary classrooms and hand out trading cards to the younger students bearing a message that encourages them to live drug-free.

"Through my involvement with the Octorara Heroes program, I have been able to spend time with fourth-grade students sharing my experiences about living a healthy lifestyle - one that is drug- and alcohol-free," said Michaela. "In each interaction with these students, I have been encouraged by their enthusiasm for living life and learning."

Lawler provided a brief history of the Good Citizen Award, which was established in 1934 and originally bestowed upon only one student per state. By 1952, the award was expanded so that each high school could select one Good Citizen honoree.

Each Good Citizen was presented with a certificate and a lapel pin. "The rim contains 13 stars, representing the 13 original Colonies," Lawler explained. "The band of blue identifies our society, and there are four books on the lapel pin, titled dependability, service, leadership and patriotism. These are characteristics of a Good Citizen."

Toni Keg from Sen. Andy Dinniman's office and John McNichol from Sen. Tom Killion's office also presented the students with certificates.

In addition to Michaela, other Good Citizens included the following students: Miriam Saadeh, B. Reed Henderson High School; Jane Shevlin, Bayard Rustin High School; Robert Duncheskie, Bishop Shanahan High School; Lauren DiCamillo, Coatesville Area Senior High School; Grace Yatcilla, Downingtown High School East; Mary Clay, Downingtown High School West; Jayna Bruno, Kennett Consolidated High School; Regan Dolinger, Oxford Area High School; Ashlyn Lauder, Unionville High School; and Sarah Guan, West Chester East High School.

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DAR Awards Essay Contest Winners March 13, 2019

Although a woman's right to vote is universally accepted now, there was a time in the history of the United States when this idea was considered a radical change to the U.S. Constitution.

Addressing the topic of the 19th amendment, which granted women this right, was the task of local students who took part in the American History Essay Contest presented annually by the Chester County Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

During a DAR meeting on March 11 at Westminster Presbyterian Church in West Chester, Elberta Clinton, essay contest chair, announced the winners of the contest: Kenadee Carlson, a sixth-grade student at Peirce Middle School, West Chester; Allie Meyer, a seventh-grade student at St. Agnes School, West Chester; and Suhan Neema, an eighth-grade student at the Charles F. Patton Middle School, Kennett Square.

Clinton introduced the students, as well as their family members, teachers and school administrators who were in attendance. She also read a biographical piece about each student.

Prior to the students reading their winning essays, Clinton explained the premise of the essay contest. "Imagine you are living in 1919 while the women's suffrage campaigns were having impact on Americans politically and socially," she stated. "Discuss the pros and cons of this new amendment the U.S. Congress has passed." She noted that specific criteria were taken into consideration, such as grammar, historical accuracy and bibliographical references.

In her essay, Kenadee wrote a series of letters between a mother and a daughter, named Anna Miller, who was living in Washington, D.C. The letters, which Kenadee dated from June 4, 1919, through Oct. 15, 1919, illustrate Anna's feelings about the amendment that ranged from excitement to skepticism. "I believe that there are wondrous things to come out of the new amendment," the one letter stated. "Imagine the possibilities." Later, however, the letters question whether or not the women's protests were worth all the effort. "Many see the suffragists as unpatriotic and look to them as if they were the enemy of the war," the letter stated. "I fear becoming another victim of those opposed against our rights. There are so many amazing things to come of the amendment, but I fear there are also awful ones as well."

Allie titled her essay "The Women's Suffrage Campaign - Breaking Down Barriers: Gaining a Voice." Her essay dictated the observations of a young girl living in 1919. Allie cited the courageous women of the era, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Lucy Stone and Susan B. Anthony. "Because of the courage and perseverance these women never failed to show, girls like myself now feel as if they, and their voice, matter," the essay stated. "We are human beings whose voices matter and deserve to be heard."

In Suhan's essay, she wrote a letter from a fictional person named Ruth Johnson to an old friend named Mary. In the letter, Ruth attempts to convince Mary, a nonbeliever in the amendment, that allowing women to vote is the right thing to do. "Giving women the vote could lead to them voting in more women in office," she wrote. "Isn't it fair that women start representing the interest of women, just as men have represented the interests of men for so long? I know you might think me crazy, but could you imagine one day there being a female president?"

Clinton presented each student with a certificate and a medal. Winners were also presented with certificates by Toni Keg from the office of Sen. Andy Dinniman and by John McNichol from the office of Sen. Tom Killion.

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National Merit Scholarship Finalists Honored March 8, 2019

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