The Hardyston school board on Feb. 9 honored three students for their excellent showing in the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Essay Contest in Sussex County.
The essay contest is open to all eighth-graders in the county. Three of the winners attend Patricia E. Rosendale’s Language Arts class: Sophia Lavin, second place; Tiziana Maldonado, third place; and John Cammarata, honorable mention. All three were present at the school board meeting.
Each year, the winners get called down to the principal’s office thinking they’re in trouble, said Mike Ryder, chief administrator for Hardyston schools. The principal asks the students, “’Why did you do it?,’ and the students are a little scared and confused,” he said. “Then we break the ice and tell them they won the essay contest, congratulate them, and tell them they are doing an awesome job.”
Ryder said he was proud of the students and thanked Rosendale for encouraging them to participate. Ryder said writing is a lifelong skill you keep improving. It’s so important to be a good writer, he said.
The three essay winners are members of DAR’s Chinkchewunska Chapter in Wantage. The chapter name is a native American word that means “town on the side of the hill,” or “hilltop town.”
DAR promotes patriotism and education in groups around the world, and promotes historic preservation. DAR offers students scholarship programs, essay contests, educational information, youth programs and awards.
The contest challenges students to creatively think about the nation’s history.